Joan Pomo wrote:
I'll leave community to others, but within companies I believe that values
can be a powerful unifying force, perhaps the only one able to survive all
the vicissitudes of time. After all, values are the sole elements by which
everyone decides what is good and what is bad.
The point is that whether or not values are universal or held by every
last person on earth is irrelevant in a work environment. Values are the
only effective guidelines which are common to enough people to form the
basis for trust and collaboration. They are effective because everyone
will be able to strongly get behind any effort which meets their values.
The key for the boss is to simultaneously meet high standards for all
values if possible and if not, to meet as many as possible without totally
violating any. I would contend that meeting high standards for all is
possible with lots of effort and patience, but that may be irrelevant
because there may not be an alternative for trust, teamwork and
=== end quote ===
Very well said! The on-going discussion on values has been the most
intellectually provoking I've participated in many years. It has made me
question many of my assumptions.
It seems like the discussion bounces back and forth between "most peoples
hold some common values" and "we cannot agree on any single universal
value that everyone is willing to live by, therefore there must not be
I can demonstrate through observation and pure logic that universal values
must exist, and then I know that I could also demonstrate by observation
and pure logic that universal values must not exist. Message: take your
pick; it's a matter of faith.
Whether universal values exist or not seems to be a mental model we are
discussing; I suspect this belief is so ingrained in us that we simply
cannot change it. And the implications to organizations are far reaching:
imagine you are writing the company travel guidelines, or how to deal with
vendors or foreign government officials. What kind of guidelines will you
write if you have a mental model that says most people value honesty
versus one that says to you most people don't value honesty ?
Roy Lyford-Pike VP Engineering and Development SCM Chemicals firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>