Values-Driven Strategy

Laura Mears
Laura Mears

What is a Values-driven Strategy? Have you considered what it might feel like to build a strategy which is born out of your values?

For some values-driven leaders, strategy is a dirty word.

It conjures up a dog-eat-dog world, where money is the driver and tactics trump relational trust. 

But when linked with the word Values, it can take on a fresh and reassuring quality. Values-driven strategy is Values-in-Action!

In other words, it is accountability for the things we say we stand for. 

So how do you build a Values-driven Strategy?

Creating Values

The first thing to do is make sure you have a set of succinct and up-to-date values. The current thinking is that this should be a shortlist of 3-5 words that most resonate with your purpose and how you go about things. They can be used to build a story, or paint a picture, of what you, as an organisation, stand for.

For example, one of our Salmon Swimming Values is Flourishing. The Salmon develop their healthy pink flesh as they leap and dive, flourishing along the way as they set their eyes on the fruitfulness ahead. Our website says: “We believe in thriving, not just surviving. It means bringing your whole self to the table. No hiding. No fear. It means being emotionally and mentally present at work and at home.”

Next we need to ask;

Are these Values reflected in our Strategy?

To do this, we need to cross-reference our values with our circles of influence. These may include your team, the wider organisation, and your clients. For each circle, ask whether you are putting flourishing at the front and centre of your strategy. You should be able to find evidence for each circle.

Because we believe in flourishing, we are learning to make decisions that reflect this value. For example, we try not to schedule calls back to back so we can leave margin for ourselves to take a break, and for others to interrupt. We will regularly meet to review roles and methods to make sure that we are focusing on the things that energise us. When we or the people we serve are not flourishing, we have to ask ourselves; what is missing? And adapt our strategy accordingly.

You can also employ this method in your family. One of our family values is adventure. So every couple of years I overcome my inclination to play it safe and frugal with family holidays, and we plan a wow trip. This may involve some hassle but, together with some other smaller, regular adventures, it breathes life and opportunity into our family DNA.

So how are your Values shaping your actions?

Values-based Strategy gives you the assurance you need that you are on the right track, doing what you say you will do.

It walks the values off the web-page into people’s lives.

For support in developing a Values-based Strategy, talk to us.

Click here for a Core Values Exercise from GiANT that will help you to generate your values.

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