Creating Values/Behaviour Questionnaires for Leadership Devel

This article explores how you can create and quickly deliver short Values/Behaviour Clarification Questionnaires to engage business communities on leadership development and change management programmes about key values and the critical behaviours needed to support them in order to improve individual and team performance.

Thinking Man Statue

Much of the work I do in the business games arena with organisations involves identifying the central dilemmas in some aspect of individual business performance and discovering what the top performers do differently than the rest. In simple terms I encode this knowledge into games to spread best practice in a community in an experiential, social and fun way.

However these games take time (typically half a day to run) and I am always being asked- what if we only have an hour - is there anything we can do?

I think there is.

I was inspired by a website - PhilosophersNet which, as well as being a treasure trove of fascinating philosophical material, offers visitors the chance to take a 5-minute Philosophical Healthcheck to identify inconsistencies in their values or beliefs.

Typically the questionnaires asks you what you believe in a number of different ways which inevitably show up inconsistencies. For example, it identified that whilst I believe that art is subjective and I also believe that Picasso is indisputably one of the best artists of all time. These two beliefs, on closer inspection, are not entirely consistent with each other.

This approach can be adapted for business by working with subject matter experts to create short Values/Behaviour Clarification Questionnaires. These questionnaires can be used with groups and individuals to provide quick experiential "shocks" to help people develop curiosity about their hidden mind-sets which drive their behaviours.


Here are 5 simple steps to construct a great Values/Behaviour Clarification Questionnaire:


STEP 1: Define the key area (e.g. Project/Team Management)
- identify the key values/mind-sets which are central to success in the area
- identify the most common behaviours which stop success in the area


STEP 2: Design a short questionnaire (20 questions max) with a question covering:
- Each Key Value/Mind-set
- A couple of behaviours - one which is consistent with the value and the other which is highly plausible and seductive but actually inconsistent with the key value in some way


STEP 3: Test your questionnaire with somebody in the target audience who has not been involved in its creation and fix what does not work


STEP 4: Develop the questionnaire (e.g. in Excel or SurveyMonkey)


STEP 5: Administer the questionnaire as part of a group session:
- Set the context (as a group)
- Do the questionnaire (as individuals)
- Calculate the scores (as individuals)
- Share and Discuss the results (as groups or table )
- Encourage individuals to identify specific learning and commitments


In summary, using Values/Behaviour Clarification Questionnaires it is possible to conduct short, fun group sessions which start the ball rolling on key behaviour changes needed for improved business performance. They can also prepare communities for more immersive sessions involving custom games.


About Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson delivers keynote conference speeches, workshop facilitation and in-house consultancy in four key business areas:

  1. Creating High Performing Teams in enterprises including Virtual and Mobile Teams (based on the Bioteams Book)
  2. Establishing effective Collaborative Business Networks enabling companies to co-operate effectively in areas such as sales and product development (based on the book - The Networked Enterprise)
  3. How to use the latest social media technologies including blogging and online communities to promote enterprises, brand, organisation or event
  4. Development of graphical on-line interactive Business Games, Dashboards and What-if Simulators for organisations to support Performance Improvement, Strategy Development and Executive Team Development.


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Collaborative thinking: four key roles
In his unique book Dialogue and the art of thinking together William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.


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