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Values – The Post-it Way

– By Andrew B Morris

Walk into most businesses and you’ll see a set of slick values stuck on a wall. Few notice them and most can’t recall their origin.

Consultants charge fortunes to run endless workshops that are intend to arrive at a set of authentic values that capture an organisation’s DNA.

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Don’t’ bother – this exercise can be done in an evening.

Step 1 – Assemble the team in a relaxing environment, ideally after work, possibly with a few drinks.

Step 2- Put up 3 boards, with a header on one saying WE ARE (in green): another saying WE NEVER (in red) and another saying WE WANT TO (in blue): Give out post it notes in each of these colours, to all present.

Step 3 – Explain that WE ARE: describes our current values, WE NEVER: describes what we never want to be, and WE WANT TO: describes what we’d like to be. Each member of the top team then writes a statement (best prepared earlier) on a post-it and sticks it on the relevant board. The rest of the team are then invited to do the same and so the process begins. This is likely to take a few hours as people are only encouraged to submit their post-its when they feel ready.

Step 4 – We now have a bunch of value statements that have come directly and honestly from the hearts of our people. Group them into themes, remove duplications, photograph and frame the results.

These authentic values, created inclusively, will stand the test of time.


About Andrew Morris

Andrew is Chief Executive of the Academy for Chief Executives, helping businesses to accelerate growth through better leadership. As part of this role he chairs and mentors a group of exclusive central London Business Leaders in Academy Group 1.

Andrew describes himself as a creative businessman, who enjoys meeting people from all facets of life. His mantra is ‘take your job seriously, but not yourself.’

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