How to spot an ineffective org. values statement - easy - no conflict!

Organisational Values Statements are very popular these days as a way of lining up the people of the organisation behind a set of values which the organisation wishes to aspire to and be known for. However, in many of these statements the one thing which gives them real power has been left on the cutting room floor - conflict!


When you are constructing your values statement it always pays to remember the French national tripartite motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité meaning, of course, liberty, equality and fraternity.

There are three conflicts (or dilemmas as I prefer to call them) already built in:

• Liberty vs Equality
• Equality vs Fraternity
• Fraternity vs Liberty

For example, what happens to your Equality when my expression of Liberty results in me having much more than you have? Or when my personal Equality (human rights) overpowers my desire to show Fraternity (brotherhood) when you need my support.

Organisational values should not be designed to make us feel inspired but rather to help us reach difficult personal and unique decisions when we encounter daily operational and strategic dilemmas such as Customers vs Staff and Profits vs Organizational Health.

If your organisational values statement does not contain built-in conflicts, then it is nothing more than a cute placebo which will offer no help or comfort to you when the pressure is really on!

About Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner, author and speaker on collaboration/high performing teams and game-based learning.
and has just published a new book on Leadership and Business Dilemmas.

Tags: ,

Comments (0)| Related (3) |

Print this article


Bioteams Books Reviews

Collaborative thinking: four key roles

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.

Buy it now from:


continue reading

Click here to check all Bioteams book reviews

Ken's LinkedIn Profile

Follow Ken's Blogs

NASA Widget2_160x40.jpg


Featured Categories

Trending Topics

agility analytics ants autopoiesis bees biomimicry bioteaming bioteams change management collaboration Collaboration collective intelligence community complex systems dashboards digital dashboards ecosystems excel experiential learning flock games high-performing teams HPT innovation leadership learning meetings messaging mobile phones organizational teams penguins pheromones self-managed teams serious games simulators social media Social Networks social networks social software swarm swarm intelligence swarmteams teams teamwork The Networked Enterprise tit for tat VEN videos virtual communities virtual enterprise virtual enterprise networks virtual teams visualization web2.0 wisdom of crowds

Click for more...

Featured Article

Team joining hands

The secret DNA of high-performing virtual teams

Bioteaming – the secret to high-performing, self-organising, virtually networked teams... more

Locations of visitors to this page

Bioteams iphone app
Bioteams android app


Bioteams Lite


Latest Full Articles

Bioteams Assessor - Instantly check how good your team is?
BioScore Calculator – Instantly see if you need Bioteams
Discover Bioteams principles Yourself via Action Learning

Bioteams Manifesto

Communities and Networks Connection

Bioteams Ice-Breaker Zone

Only Fools and Horses Video Clip Funny Team Collaboration Video Dilbert Mission Statement Generator Ali G Video Funny Red Dwarf Video  FatherTed  Pixar

News Feed

Sign up for RSS   RSS Feed Subscription
        (What's RSS?)

10 Most popular posts

Recent posts


Download Browsealoud