Discovering Values: The Key to Unlocking Employee Engagement

Length: 60 minutes
Category: Coaching Skills, Performance Management, Recorded Webinars, Topics
ID: WR-0121


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Values. They’re the driving force behind personal action and a beacon of focus during turbulent times. Successful organizations recognize the business case for value clarity, and they know that connecting personal values to organizational strategy is the vital link to employee engagement, innovation, commitment, performance, decision making—and a competitive advantage.

Join subject matter expert Dr. Cynthia Scott for an exploration of personal, team, and organizational values. During this hour-long webinar, you will be introduced to a proven model that facilitates values discovery and see its application through a real-world global alignment case study. You will learn about the role values play in shaping individual behavior, why values clarification is critical to success, and how they can be linked to enhance organizational performance.

Participants Will Learn

  • How values are formed and shaped and why they matter in the workplace
  • How to balance personal and work values
  • The role that values play in motivating positive behavior
  • The business benefits of values clarification
  • How to handle values-based conflict
  • The importance of linking personal and organizational values

Who Should Attend

  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Front-line and team leaders
  • Human resources professionals
  • Organizational coaches

Sarah Cirone: Hi, everyone. Welcome to today’s webinar, Discovering Values: The Key
to Unlocking Employee Engagement hosted by HRDQ, and presented by
Dr. Cynthia Scott. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s
webinar. The webinar will last around one hour.
Sarah Cirone: If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on
your GoTo webinar control panel, and we’ll answer them as we can or
after the session by email. Our presenter today is Dr. Cynthia Scott. Dr.
Scott is a founding principle of Changeworks Lab, and is a recognized
author and consultant with over 30 years of experience with behavior,
leadership, and culture change.
Sarah Cirone: She is the author of numerous books including Getting Your
Organization to Change, Rekindling Commitment, and Take This Work
and Love It. Dr Scott’s clients include LinkedIn, Charles Schwab, The
Internal Revenue Service, Estee Lauder, Walmart, and more. It’s an
honor to have you speaking with us today, Dr. Scott.
Cynthia Scott: Good. Well, welcome. I am very happy to be here, Sarah. I understand
that today we have a global group of people who are trainers,
consultants, team leaders, and curious learners. So, I’m looking forward
to sharing what I’ve been discovering and to talk about using values as
the core of helping people engage, work together better, have less
conflict, communicate about what matters, and align their focus with
organizational performance. So, let’s go.
Cynthia Scott: I’m very excited to share all this with you, so let’s just begin. The
question that I often start with is, why do values matter? Isn’t it
something that’s just packed inside you? Isn’t it something that… How
do you get to them? Is there a values meter that you can stick into
people and find out what their values are?
Cynthia Scott: I began as a very curious anthropologist, and a psychologist, and a
change consultant, helping organizations to figure out how to get
people to want to change. So, we had to look back at their values and
work backwards into that question.
Cynthia Scott: I was writing a book about change and transition, and one of the things
that I discovered, and doing a lot of workshops and seminars with
people and large groups of people who are going through some pretty
substantial change, was that what helped people change is that when
their change was connected with some personal values that they
already held. And so, this values thing began to be very interesting.
Cynthia Scott: I was just spending time last week coaching two cofounders of a very
interesting organization that is going now from two cofounders to 17.
It’s really easy to align values with two people. When you begin to have
17 people, and they’re in five different offices… We had to really return
to why are they doing this? What matters to them? And use that as a
deep root of connection and place to do alignment.
Cynthia Scott: So, values matter a lot. And what I want to do is help you understand
why it matters, and how it matters to you and the groups of either
individuals with coaching. Perhaps some of you are coaches, some of
you are working with teams or groups, or whole industries or
organizations to help them realign and change.
Cynthia Scott: Values are basically the language of why, and values are what make you
choose… Let’s see, Sylvia says she can’t hear. Can we work on that,
Sarah? Is that something that we can help Sylvia with?
Sarah Cirone: Yeah, we’re working with her, Cynthia.
Cynthia Scott: Great, thank you. Okay, good. So, let me ask the why thing. Let me ask
you to think of a recent choice or a decision that you’ve made. And we’ll
start with you personally because if you understand how this works in
you, then you’ll be able to translate it to the teams of groups and
individuals that you’re working with.
Cynthia Scott: So, why did you make that choice? What was the reason? And if I ask
you why several more times, it’s like the… Simon Sinek always talks
about why, why, why. And what’s interesting is why peeling back the
why questions usually gets you down to a value. “Well, I made that
decision because I value that we have quality in our organization, or I
made that decision because I want you to trust me and I want to build
that relationship.”
Cynthia Scott: So, values provide the foundation of what you believe, and what you…
then actions and choices, and then the results you make. So, oftentimes,
values are at that end of that cycle. So, if you peel back, if you want to
figure out why are you getting the results you’re getting? Well, because
we made these choices and these actions because we believe this based
on those values.
Cynthia Scott: So, what we’ll look at is some ways of peeling back and using the values
edge to peel back to the core values, which you can then… are much
easier to work with and can give people more resilience when they
make change. Having been working with organizations and people for a
long time, I get some very interesting requests; things like, “I want a
new culture. I want new values. I want my company to have values.”
Cynthia Scott: It’s like this startup of two people. They said, “Well, what are our
values?” I said, “Well, the values are coming from you, in some ways.”
It’s not an outside in. And I’ve had very funny organizations that say,
“Well, we want to have these five values. We’ll make cards and we’ll
pass them out, and we’ll put the plaques up, and we’ll put them on our
website.” And I said, “Okay. Well, but how do those values align with
what you do?”
Cynthia Scott: So, Estee Lauder, it’s like, what is the value of feeling good, of
empowering women? What are the values behind all the research they
do, all the careful preparation, and customer service. So, anytime you
are hearing these kinds of requests, I always peel it back to values
because if you don’t do that, you’re fixing the thing that isn’t really the
essence of it.
Cynthia Scott: So, if I was to say values are a way to clarify what’s important, especially
the behaviors that are connected to those values, I find that’s where
people get… Everybody wants trust, everybody wants honesty,
everybody wants those things. And then what happens is, how do those
things enact? How do people behave if we value those things?
Cynthia Scott: People want innovation, they want entrepreneurial spirit, they want all
these things. What are the values that support them? And then, what
are the behaviors and the choices you have to make to get that stuff to
Cynthia Scott: So, let’s go and… What I always find, actually, is that you already have
values, and it’s just taking the time to peel in and have a conversation. I
think that’s one of the strongest things that the values edge allows
people to do. Having developed it over many years and used it with lots
of people, it gives people a way to begin to have those values
conversations because it’s hard to start that from, “Tell me what values
you hold.” You get something like boy Scouts pledge. It’s like top line
things, but not really the behaviors.
Cynthia Scott: So, what we’re going to do today are three things. I’m going to talk a
little bit about, again, how values are formed and shaped, and how you
then change them. Because if you want to create more of the
innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, responsibility, accountability,
transparency, all those things that people want more of, you got to go
back to values.
Cynthia Scott: Second thing is, how do values in the workplace support this kind of
thing that everybody wants now. They want more purpose, more
engagement, and, by the way, faster and more performance. So, how do
you use values to hook and be the igniter of that.
Cynthia Scott: And the last one is, I’m going to show you how to use the values edge to
align teams and persons because how do you use the personal values as
a catalyst for generating team values? I’ll share some of the experiments
and the experiences that I’ve had with doing that.
Cynthia Scott: So, let’s start out, as I said, with you. Let’s start out with… And these
are, what are your top values? So, I’m going to ask you to take a
moment. And you may have thought a lot about this, you may have
never thought about this, there’s no wrong things to come up with. But
I’m asking you on purpose because when you facilitate conversations or
you coach somebody, or you’re doing an offsite and you’re talking about
values, you got to start with the person; what are the personal values?
Cynthia Scott: So, what are the four words, if you could say? I know we can’t have
everyone chat in, there are a lot of people online. Actually, we could
have done a poll, but… It’s very common to have some people say,
“Well, I don’t know what to say here.” Or some people have been
thinking about this a lot. And so, this is a start of what’s it like for you to
be able to come up with your top four? Or I could have the top eight, or
in the values pyramid, you have your top 15. You can’t have your top 28.
You can’t have your top 46 because people can’t focus.
Cynthia Scott: It’s like the ability to focus on that many values doesn’t give you much
clarity. I took this exercise from… One of the first times I used the values
edge was with a group of physicians. Good. Kindness, and I got… Let’s
see. Some people are putting things in the question. So, yeah, we’ll talk
about… Everyone has this range of values, but let me go back to the
physicians for a minute, is I asked them… These were physicians who
were in a leadership development of five-day workshop moved from
being practitioners to being leaders.
Cynthia Scott: And one of the things… I got the honesty, the kindness. Amy and
Barbara, and a couple others are putting them into the question.
Starting this conversation is so fun. But when I tried to do this with
these physician leaders, they just looked at me like, what was I asking
them to do?
Cynthia Scott: And what was interesting is after we talked about that initial, “Oh, I
don’t know,” they really got into service, and caring, and healing, and
helping people. They basically had those values, but they’d never been
asked to talk about them. And they put in all these years of training to
develop their capabilities, but they never had a chance to talk among
others in their organization, and talk about why those values make them
make those choices.
Cynthia Scott: I hope some of you… I’m curious because it looks like honesty, kindness,
treating other people. We’ll talk about the values that come up with
everybody, and you’ll see how common they are, and they’re not about
a generation. I’m going to debunk some myths for you.
Cynthia Scott: So, what I’d like you to do when you think about the values that you did
select off the top of your head, where did you learn these? Where did
you… What experiences or people… Because values aren’t put in you, in
your DNA, they are learned. They come from experiences, events,
turning points, stuff that happens in your life where you say, “I’m either
never going to do that again. Or that’s something that really is core to
Cynthia Scott: Secondly, have they changed as you’ve grown? My guess is that what
you valued in your 20s may not be what you’re valuing in your 40s, and
may not be what you value in your 80s. So, values tend to shift and
become fluid as you go through different life stages.
Cynthia Scott: How long have you had these values? If you had a kid, you can see very
early that the kid is more interested in this, or these things are more
what they pay attention to. So, keep this in mind as we talk about
Cynthia Scott: And again, what we’re doing here is we’re keeping your thoughts on
your values, but as a way of understanding how to work with
individuals, teams, groups, organizations. So, let’s go to the next one;
how values are formed and shaped. So, where do they come from? And
how do different people have different values? How come… Are they
universal? What happens if we travel geographically, and people in
other regions, what are their core values?
Cynthia Scott: This chart is helpful because it really shows the connection between the
relationship between values, and action, and results. What’s on the left
side is all of your experiences, people, relationships, where you picked
up and learned about your values. People learn them from people who
they were close to. It’s usually, actually, people you have a relationship
with. And increasingly, in some ways, that’s a media relationship or
cultural relationship, but people often mimic or learn from others.
Cynthia Scott: And so, your values are shaped by people saying, “No, we don’t do it
that way.” Or, “That’s really important. Don’t throw your wrappers on
the ground.” It’s like, don’t do this though. It’s the don’ts and the dos
that then lead you to have beliefs about how you should act, whether it
be in the workplace or in the community, which then leads to actions
that you take, and choices that you make, and then leads to results and
impact that you have.
Cynthia Scott: So, if you’re wanting to change the results, the actions, the beliefs, go
back to the values, and you go back to the experiences and the
relationships. So, when you think of doing this in an organization… I’ve
just been working with an organization that’s trying to have more
collaboration, more transparency, all these things that everybody seems
to want. But in order to do that, they have to have new experiences for
people to see that it isn’t just words on paper.
Cynthia Scott: So, they’re having town hall discussions. Some of the leaders are very
anxious, and this is new for them. They’re not used to having open
questions, and having 300 people. It’s very different for them. But what
they have to do is have different experiences so people can see that
they really do value learning, implementation, transparency, so that the
beliefs change, the actions change, and the results change.
Cynthia Scott: What’s interesting about this one group, what they’ve done is because
they value, they’re building and changing their culture to have more
emphasis on feedback and learning, rapid learning. So, at the end of
every team meeting, they’re starting to add what they call the plus
delta. Maybe you’ve heard of after action review or whatever. But
basically, at the end of every meeting, they say, “What went well, and
what can we change?”
Cynthia Scott: And that’s a big change for this culture, this organization, because it was
never okay to speak up or have a difference of opinion. And so, what
they’re doing is they’re layering in new things in the relationships, in the
workplace that begin to help the values, beliefs, actions, and results
change. So, if you look at values as a source for navigation, it basically
it’s your values are your judgments about what’s important.
Cynthia Scott: And again, those things may change in your 20s, your 40s, your 80s.
Different things are important. Every culture has values, even if they
don’t talk about them. And oftentimes, what we’re talking about here
with the values edge is giving people a chance to have a conversation,
which is usually very enlivening for people, about what they value, and
how it connects to their choices and their behaviors.
Cynthia Scott: These values can be positive or negative. Again, what’s seen as positive
by one person will be seen as negative by another person. So, there’s no
value on the value. And they emerge at different stages of your own
development. Psychologists have always been asked to basically help
get people… understand the value so you can sell people more. If you
have this piece of clothing, you will be liked, you will belong.
Cynthia Scott: Marketers, we’re becoming very sophisticated at how we use values as
a way to get people to change their behaviors. So, as a health educator,
I spend a lot of time trying to help people figure out how to value health
and wellbeing. So, let’s look here about values, basically, are caught, not
Cynthia Scott: And again, we’ve talked about you get them, you grow up with them.
This picture of… Somebody here’s telling a story, and somebody is
listening, and they’re listening to what matters or what is important, or
they’re listening to a story that comes out of the family history. You pick
them up at school, you pick them up in communities, and your brain
makes nice neural pathways of these values, these behaviors. So, if
you’re wanting to change a value, you have to go back and understand
that values have led to habits.
Cynthia Scott: This is the thing I find most interesting, and I love that The Center For
Creative Leadership did this big piece of research. They actually
interviewed 3,200 employees of various ages, and said, “What are your
values?” Because there’s all this stuff about, “Oh, there’s a generation
gap.” People of Gen X have these values, people of Gen Y have these
values. You have to have all these different kinds of workplace options
because of it.
Cynthia Scott: What they found was all generations have similar values, they just
express them differently. Now, you’ll notice the ones that came out
right up at the top are family and integrity. You can say integrity, you
can say honesty, you can say… Those are the big ones that come up very
strongly. Now, the next group, from 48 to 38, you’ve got a whole cluster
of things here, and there’s very little differences in them.
Cynthia Scott: It’s like if you took a whole room full of people at your organization, my
guess is they would put wisdom, competence, happiness, love,
relationships, friendship. There would be some amount of a cluster of
that would have similarity. What’s interesting is it’s how people talk
about the behaviors that reflect having that value.
Cynthia Scott: So, having a family value, what does that mean? Always baking the
cookies for your kids, or being home? What is valuing the family, and
what does that mean in your family, or in your community, or in your
organization? So, these are words, and these are value-based words,
that people make a lot of choices and have a lot of energy and feelings
Cynthia Scott: Let’s look at what everybody wants in the workplace, and it’s the same
thing because… I’m making a differentiation here between… I’ll go back.
These are personal values, and then I’m switching to the workplace
values. They’re a little different. You’ll notice that that’s an important
thing because people have lives, and we’re very complex. You can hold a
set of personal values that don’t have to be expressed in the workplace.
That’s one of the things that I’ll talk about with the values edge
Cynthia Scott: Our simulation is that you can do the first sort for personal values. And
then the second sort for those, what values do you need in the
workplace? Because if you look, maybe you don’t want to have love in
the workplace. Or maybe that doesn’t… it’s not the main major thing
you see on everybody’s list of values in the workplace. But these things
come up; trust, respect, loyalty. And loyalty is more like belonging or
isn’t… People want to feel like they belong, that they are valued.
Cynthia Scott: It’s that Gallup question. I have a friend in the workplace, somebody
knows whether I showed up today. So, those kinds of things in the
workplace came out of this same study. And what’s interesting is that
these are things that people want, but we have to get back to the values
and then the behaviors that reflect trust. What reflects trust? How
would we be behaving if we trusted people? Would we still have people
punching in their clock hours? How would we behave if we trusted
Cynthia Scott: And respect is probably the one where the giant hairball goes crazy
because respect means very different behaviors. But everybody wants
respect. Everybody wants to be listened to, not interrupted. Those are
some of the behaviors when you tease them out that people say that’s
how we would know that was happening.
Cynthia Scott: And nobody likes change. Nobody wants change. But everybody wants
to learn. And that’s interesting. So, here, we have some interesting data.
Oh, and there’s another thing; the myth is that nobody likes change, and
that older people are really worse at change. Not necessarily true. In
some cases, people who are younger in their lifespan haven’t had as
much practice. They haven’t had as many trucks run over them and get
up afterwards. It’s like this is the first one that’s ever happened, and this
is like a big deal.
Cynthia Scott: So, it’s interesting to… What does change mean? It doesn’t mean you’re
not going to feel it, but it means that you have a little more experience
with it. So, I find, actually, working with organizations, with workers in
the 40s, 50s, and 60s, you’ve got lot more flexibility and agility built in.
Cynthia Scott: So, let’s go on. Why do they matter in the workplace? And I’m going to
hit the tops of this stuff because this is database, and you can go back to
it. I’ll give you some of the references for it. But basically, shared values
pay off. And there’s three or four, actually, research pieces, and I’ll go
through each of them.
Cynthia Scott: The first one, and this is from Kotter and Heskett. It looks like an old
study. But what was interesting is they really found amazing results, and
they looked at 207 large companies in 22 industries over 11 years. So,
these people did hardcore research. They basically found that
companies that had these strong corporate cultures, which is another
word for values, and clarity, and calibration with that, outperformed.
They grew revenue, they created jobs, their stock prices, they did profit.
Cynthia Scott: This alignment was really valuable. Now, the second one was… Denison
has done some interesting research globally also. He’s at NCN right now.
I’ve used his organizational culture survey a lot. And what he’s found,
when you have a robust culture, meaning you have a values clear
culture that two times ROI, double the ROI of less effective cultures. So,
Daniel Denison has reaffirmed that.
Cynthia Scott: There’s also a new book by Anderson and… I’m sorry, Adams and
Anderson, called Mastering Leadership. And they’ve done some very
interesting research showing how organizations that value the more
creative, collaborative, relating self-awareness, authenticity, all those
achieving systems awareness… If you value those things and you
manifest those, you do much better than controlling, protecting, and
Cynthia Scott: So, this isn’t news to any of you all who’ve been organizations, you know
that organizations that have this values alignment do much better. And
the last one is Collins and Porras. He’s been doing this a long time, and
he’s built the last research. If you build these strong cultures, which is
another word for values alignment, over a period of several decades,
you’re going to do better. And this values alignment is essential for
Cynthia Scott: Now, you don’t get this values alignment… I’m prepared to say you
don’t get it by sending out posters and printing out your values, you get
it by building it through conversations with individuals, teams, and
whole groups. So, it’s driven by the personal values clarification. So, for
example, I teach at a graduate school, business school, and we use the
values edge in our orientation for our students. Now, we’re focused on
sustainability. So, everybody comes with certain things.
Cynthia Scott: But to do this with a student body that ranges in age from 25 to 55, and
to have them have a conversation about their personal values, then
leads them to the conversation about what are the values they need as
a cohort, as a organization, as a group of students. That leads them to
be able to have a real understanding and that sense of belonging that
even though somebody else comes from different country and different
background, they’re an engineer, or they run a yoga studio, people in
this group have very similar values. That leads to a really nice, firm level
of performance in our school.
Cynthia Scott: So, how do values motivate positive behavior? Basically, I’m talking
about creating a shared language. So, if you say we value respect, well
what does that mean? Saying the respect word doesn’t mean we all
agree, and people have lots of different…
Cynthia Scott: So, two things happen. Leaders express these values, and they behave
like these values rather than like not the values, and their space in the
organization to have conversations, whether it be with individuals, or
teams, or town hall meetings, or whatever. Having this allows values to
motivate positive behavior, values aligned behavior.
Cynthia Scott: Some of the biggest conflicts I get called into are teams that want to
unpack respect, or transparency, or quality. In some cases, if you’re
working in a medical environment, quality means we do the right thing,
we don’t make mistakes. Risk does not happen here because we hold
each other accountable. So, when leaders stand up for their values…
And this is something that actually came out of Kouzes and Posner’s
work in the leadership challenge, people expect their leaders to talk
about their values.
Cynthia Scott: They want people who can say, “I value X.” And this is how that
behavior… This is behavior that I expect in the workplace. So, giving
leaders, people want you to bring your personal values. They may not
want you to bring all of your personal values, but they want to know
who you are. And being able to bring your personal values leads to that
authentic expression of leadership that people can trust.
Cynthia Scott: So, in all of my leadership classes, we talk about using personal values as
a foundation for organizational values and leadership. So, back to the
physicians in their leadership course, or the students in our MBA and
MPA programs, it’s like they start by talking about their values. We start
with personal values, then we learn how to share them. We learn how
to talk about them, and we learn how to speak out and take stands, and
engage others in talking about values, especially when values have been
going sideways.
Cynthia Scott: There’s any number of examples you can see right now in the news of
organizations where it goes sideways. Helping organizations recover
that, whether there’s been a big loss, or accident, or some kind of
breach, leaders play a real important part in bringing that back into
balance by talking about their own values and what they expect. And I
found that values focus conversations using the values edge.
Cynthia Scott: This is a picture of a merger of two cultures, and two countries, and
teams that had never worked together before. This was a two and a half
day offsite. This is one we actually collected the telephones because
they wouldn’t stop talking. They had to… This was their first offsite. And
so, we started with the values edge to give people a chance to say, “This
is who I am, and this is what matters.” And then, creating, “These are
the values I want us to have by bringing values from each of the
organizations. And these are the behaviors that we would like to see or
expect to see if we held these values.”
Cynthia Scott: So, when individual and organizational values are aligned, job stress
intention is reduced. People feel proud, they feel like they’re part of a
group of people who hold the same values, teamwork, spirit. And
people become loyal. I won’t say they will never leave, but they will feel
that they their values are in cadence or alignment.
Cynthia Scott: Working with individuals, if you’re coaching people, what makes people
get most sideways is their values are out of whack with the
organization’s values, and they don’t feel supported. They don’t feel like
I’m in the right place for myself anymore.
Cynthia Scott: So, how do you use this values edge to build an aligned team and a…
Again, team comes out of personal, and so there’s no magic set. I’ve
worked with people all over the world using this process, and there isn’t
a magic set. What’s important is it’s influenced by the kind of business. If
you’re in… Paper production is maybe different than healthcare. It’s
different by industry and it’s different by the promise the organization is
Cynthia Scott: If you’re in healthcare or you’re a nuclear power, or you’re running a big
utility, you’d better have safety and quality, those kinds of things. It may
be less important… That doesn’t mean if you’re in food service that
safety and quality aren’t important, but you may have to have speed
and other things that are part of that.
Cynthia Scott: So, let’s talk about this. I want to talk a little bit about the research that
we used to come up with the values edge sort because there’s lots and
lots of really good work done on values. You’ll see this as the
foundation. It’s like laying the foundation. We went back to Rokeach’s
work on human values. Sid Simon did a lot of work on values
clarification, and helped strengthening people’s ethical ability to make
tough choices.
Cynthia Scott: And we’ve talked about Collins and Porras. What do successful
companies, what do successful leaders do? Habits for surviving in a
turbulent environment. And then the leadership challenge. And I’ve
talked about Denison and a couple other people. So, there is no one
values handbook. And when you start into having a conversation about
values, you have to look at it from a broad perspective. And that’s what
we did when we started to develop this.
Cynthia Scott: We were writing about values, vision, and mission, and began to engage
with organizations that wanted, first of all, something that didn’t take a
lot of time and engaged people. So, let me add one more piece here
about measuring organizational commitment. This is an interesting
piece of research, and it came out of Kouzes and Posner.
Cynthia Scott: Basically, you can see that having clarity about personal values melded
or connected to clarity about organizational values. And this is on a scale
of one to seven, so a 7.26 pretty high. If you have that kind of
convergence, this is what commitment, engagement… This is where
people are in their sweet spot of performing. So, this is what we’re
looking for. But you’ll notice that there’s not much difference between a
4.87 and a 4.90. But there’s a lot of difference between a five and a
higher six.
Cynthia Scott: It’s like you can have clarity on your organizational values, but where
you really get the leverage is personal and organizational values. So,
let’s look at… So, personal values drive commitment, start with the
personal values. Here’s a way of looking at how to use the values edge,
and going back to the personal values, team values, organizational
Cynthia Scott: Let me take you into some uses that you can do with this. And again, I’ve
used it with onboarding and orienting people. If you’re onboarding to a
organization, you can put it as part of your human resources onboarding
process. Onboarding is more than passing out forms and signing people
up for insurance. It is really about… It’s the first ritual of inclusion. It’s
how people see what matters in the organization.
Cynthia Scott: My son was just working at Tesla. It’s very interesting. Tesla’s a big
manufacturing plant, but very good attention to onboarding them to the
reason and the larger mission and vision of electric cars, all the sub. So,
when he began there, it was very interesting to watch. What the
organization does as you begin tells you a lot about the organization. So,
do they value… What do they value? What do they think is important?
Cynthia Scott: And giving people a chance to clarify their personal values is very
energizing for people. People feel affirmed, acknowledged. They feel
like the company is interested in the things that make them light up, so
to speak. It’s also a part of leadership development. You don’t start
pouring in leadership tactics, you find out what is the person made of.
So, it’s the self-awareness, it’s the, have these always been your values?
When did you shift a value? Why do you have these values now?
Cynthia Scott: So, getting people to self… Especially in coaching individuals, it’s like,
why this now? And where has this been challenged in your life? Teambuilding. I love to use it with teams. It gives them a great way to start
out a conversation where… Especially when you’re starting up and you
haven’t met each other, it’s a great way to take one hour to talk about
your personal values. It’s really good with mergers, our culture, your
culture. What’s the shared values here? What are the things that don’t
come together? How do we work across that startup?
Cynthia Scott: People say, “Oh, I’ll get to culture when we get more successful.” I say,
“Well, you’ve already got a culture. You might as well tend to it now and
be conscious about it.” I use it a lot in family businesses, especially to
have cross-generational conversations, and finding… or even crossgenerational conversations with multiple family businesses, and they
say, “Oh, we thought the second generation was going to be very
different than the third generation.”
Cynthia Scott: Going back to that center for creative leadership, it’s funny, they all
want the same thing. They just talk about it differently. So, I would say
that there’s lots of uses for this. And this is just showing some of the
components. One of the things that we did was try to make it so it’s easy
to use and makes sense to people.
Cynthia Scott: It has 56 cards that talk about the values. Again, we went back to
Rokeach, lots of different places. We tried to make something that was
simple. Now, the cards don’t have a definition on them. So, you’re left
with just things that say integrity, or trust, or forgiveness, or health, or
competence, or adventure. So, they are not defined because the
definition is in the person. So, it’s the conversation of what does
competence mean here, or what does competence mean to me? And
then what does competence mean in our team?
Cynthia Scott: So, there’s 56 values cards, and you’ll notice that they have different
colors. On the other side, they are not colored. And so, you sort them
without being colored, and basically, you sort them into three different
piles. You sort them into always, sometimes, and rarely. And I’ll show
you a picture of people sorting them in a minute.
Cynthia Scott: Then what you have is you have a model, and you’ll see the colors, and
it’s in the model of the logo, have clusters. And there’s seven clusters.
And we chunk them so that you could have a conversation. We’re not
drilling down into all the differences. Especially in the workplace, it’s
important people have a way of talking across the different categories
and clusters.
Cynthia Scott: Now, let me show you how… I’m watching the time here. The first thing
you do is people identify their personal values. And you’ll see this
woman here sorting, and she has three black cards that say always,
sometimes, and rarely. And what she’s doing, she’s taking the 56 cards,
and going through, and making three stacks.
Cynthia Scott: Now, some people find this easy, and some people find this hard. Some
people want to spend lots of time working on this. I finally call time after
a while, or I say, “In the next minute, let’s finish up.” Because, again, the
other thing about value, you’re not choosing your values forever, you’re
in a… And we actually ask people to think in the last three weeks
because it’s very hard. You can’t think, “Oh, in my twenties I had one of
Cynthia Scott: In the last three weeks, how often did you focus on these values in your
life? That makes it easier for people. You have to start somewhere. And
it’s common that people, they have either a big stack on one of the
others. And we say, “Okay, in the always stack, you have to get it down
to 15.” Now, 15 is either, ‘I’ve got way too many, I’ve got 25,’ or, ‘I have
three because I’m very careful about what I always value.’
Cynthia Scott: So, people with three have to go back and add to make it 15, and the
people with 25 have to thin it down. But basically, what you’re doing
with people, and these are people sitting at a table, everybody’s doing
their own personal sort. And then you begin to look around, and you ask
people to begin to turn over the cards. Actually, I take it back. You take
the 15, and you make a pyramid.
Cynthia Scott: And the next picture, I think, shows the pyramid. There’s the person
making the pyramid. You’ll see that they’re starting to turn over the
cards. Now, the cards are related to clusters, and the clusters are just
big chunks of values that we call things like mastery; where you have
achievement, recognition, power, excellence, ambition, or you have
self-expression. You have adventure, courage, creativity, curiosity,
personal freedom, learning, excitement, or you have inner
Cynthia Scott: You have forgiveness, and spirituality, and faith, and personal growth
and self respect, and gratitude, open-mindedness, or you have lifestyle.
The yellow values are about health, and pleasure, and appearance, and
relaxation, and play. Or you have the traditional values which are about
stability, respectfulness, moderation, conformity, consistency, security
and honor. Or you have relationship values, which are about belonging,
communication, friendship, teamwork.
Cynthia Scott: I’m not reading you all of them, I’m just giving you a sample of them.
And what you see is, people begin to make their pyramid, and they put
the value that they most must have in their life. This is their personal life
at the top. And then they put the next two, the next three, the next
four, the next five, and on down to six. And then they begin to turn over
the cards.
Cynthia Scott: And what you see is there’s a difference in these two people’s pattern.
You’ll see the person on the right has one of the, I think, relationship
cards on the top, and the other woman has a pink card, which is
[inaudible 00:49:23]. I think that’s self-expression.
Cynthia Scott: So, different people have different sorting patterns, and these two
people work as colleagues to each other. So, what happens with this,
they began to look at patterns, and they were looking at the other
people in the group at the personal value patterns. “Oh, you’ve got a lot
of green, you’ve got a lot of red.” And so, you’d begin to look at the
similarities and the patterns.
Cynthia Scott: Then you sit next to each other and say, “How are my values similar or
different than yours?” And you can have a conversation. So, it isn’t just
the cards, it’s the conversation. The second step after you’ve gotten
people to clarify their own personal values, you go back and you pull out
team values, group or team values.
Cynthia Scott: This happens to be a team that’s responsible for recruitment for an
organization. And so, what are the values that they want to have
expressed in the workplace? So, it’s a different sort than their personal
values, but they could be having the same things. And so, what they’re
doing is they’re bringing forward five values from all of the 56 values
that they want to have in the workplace.
Cynthia Scott: Now, here’s the next level of conversation is to say, “okay, if these are
the values we want, what are the behaviors that would reflect? What
are the behaviors we would be doing if we had trust here, or if we had
respect, or if we had integrity? How would we know we’re doing that?”
So, people are creating their own ways of holding themselves
Cynthia Scott: I’m just going on with this. And you’ll see here is that people are putting
the stickers on their card with their personal values. And then you can
also write on the back of it the team or organizational values. And you
can begin to identify competencies, connections, or you can say,
“Well…” I often find when I’m dealing with executives that they have
lots of the mastery and achievement of kinds of values, but they have
very little lifestyle. They wait for a long time to get a yellow card as
community, or prosperity, or relaxation.
Cynthia Scott: So, it’s interesting. You can also then begin to say, “Well, what are the
things that if these were like a model…” You’ll see the model here on
the left… “What if this was like a bowl and it’s tilted, it’s tilted to the
mastery level. How would I begin to…” So, it’s a self-reflective exercise
as well.
Cynthia Scott: And again, this is the model, and you’ll notice that the right hand side of
the red, pink, and yellow are all inner directed. And the left hand side
mastery, relationships, tradition are much more externally directed. And
the intrinsic are those values that are in the middle. And those are ones
that’s very interesting. Either people have a lot of those, they choose a
lot of green cards, or they don’t choose any of them because they say
those are just baked in. And those are things like integrity, tolerance,
peace, fairness, beauty, trust, responsibility.
Cynthia Scott: It’s very interesting. People either choose a lot of those or not very
many of them because they say, “I just don’t like that. I don’t choose
that. I’ve just always been that way.” So that, again, is another
conversation that can be very interesting with people.
Cynthia Scott: So, in this last few minutes, I want to give you two more examples of
how this values edge… And return you to the understanding that it’s the
personal values connected to the organizational values. And you can use
the values edge exercise and resource material to do both things.
Cynthia Scott: I just had a client that wanted to have these cross-generational
conversations. It was a large bank with a rather large family trying to
come up with its family foundation values. And then you have 35 people
in the room, you have smaller groups of tables, you have individual
values first, then you begin to say, “What values do we want to hold as a
family?” So, that’s a way of having a cross-generational conversation
mixing up the generations at each table.
Cynthia Scott: Then I worked with a very large organization, global organization that
wanted to basically… And there’s a typo here. They didn’t use it in the
hiring process. You cannot hire people with values, but you can onboard
them once you have brought them in and hired them. They wanted to
have conversations. They wanted their employees to start talking about
the values that they held as an organization, and how it was manifested
in their particular teams.
Cynthia Scott: So, if I was to summarize here in the last couple minutes that you get
this alignment by not forcing it. You don’t bring out hats, cups, and tshirts, and little cards, and things that say, ‘These are our values.” I’ve
seen a lot of that, and it doesn’t stick. It doesn’t really engage people.
But if you, basically, can have conversations and give people a chance to
first become aware, that’s what the first sort does, and then talk to
other people, you have a real open discussion.
Cynthia Scott: And it also brings up… It helps organizations be able to call out slippage.
It’s like, “We said we valued diversity. We said we would have respect,
well, this happened, and I don’t think that’s respectful.” So, it gives
people a language and a tool set to be able to have those conversations.
There’s no specific set of successful values.
Cynthia Scott: A startup has very different values. The two people going to 17 is
different than an organization that has to have coherence around the
global supply chain. Different sets happen at different times, and that’s
why it’s helpful to use them to refresh, to renew, and to recalibrate. And
you don’t pronounce, you build them.
Cynthia Scott: And even if you are wanting to drive quality or drive safety… Actually, I
worked at an organization that drives… they run oil wells all over the
world. Explosions are not good. They start every meeting with a safety
moment. That’s very interesting. And they do it… I’ve been to all kinds of
geographic locations, every meeting starts with one of the leaders come
up and say something about safety. Either they were on the freeway
and somebody swerved, or somebody left something and somebody
tripped. They talk about safety.
Cynthia Scott: They emphasize that value every single time, every meeting. So, they
repeat it. And again, I said they have different values at different times.
And discovery and dialogue is where this calibration comes from. It is
not forced. And when you come into an organization that has had
forcing around values, you have a lot of disconnection and
Cynthia Scott: And my last piece is that you basically build your culture with values.
Make them part of every day or week. If you have a value about
transparency, or value about feedback, have a plus delta at the end of
every meeting. Do something that’s… And then draw it back to your
value. We value improvement. That’s why we spend time at the end of
every meeting to say, “How’s it going, and how could we do better?” So,
it leads to people asking about purpose, and ultimately, about impact
and change.
Cynthia Scott: So, let me give you to the last slide. And my favorite quote is from
Robert Haas, who I actually got to work with at Levi’s. It’s what people
believe in. Values drive business, and you’ve become successful doing
that. I’m going to turn it back over to Sarah, and let her bring us home.
So, thank you very much. I enjoyed this. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it
was helpful for you. Thank you for your time.
Sarah Cirone: Thank you, Dr. Scott. That was great. We appreciate you looking to
HRDQ for your training needs. We published research-based
experiential learning products that you can deliver in your organization.
Check out our online or print self-assessments, our up-out-of-your-seat
games, our reproducible workshops you can customize, and more,
either at our website or give our customer service team a call. And if you
need help learning a training program or you want one of our expert
trainers to deliver it for you, we also provide those services.
Sarah Cirone: We look forward to being your soft skills training resource. That’s all the
time that we have for today. If you have any questions, please send
them to us, and we’ll answer them after the session by email. Thank
you, Cynthia, for sharing your expertise today, and thank you for
participating in today’s webinar. Happy training.


Layered hair - Artist

Dr. Cynthia Scott, is a founding principal of Changeworks Lab. Dr. Scott is a recognized author and consultant with more than 30 years of experience with behavior, leadership and culture change. She is the author of numerous books, including Getting Your Organization to Change, Rekindling Commitment, and Take This Work and Love It! Dr. Scott’s clients include LinkedIn, Charles Schwab, Kaiser Permanente, the IRS, Deloitte & Touche, Estée Lauder, and Walmart.


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