BOOK SUMMARY: BUILT ON VALUES BY ANN RHOADES
An Occasional Paper for Principals, School Leaders and Governing Bodies
In his Foreword to this book, Stephen Covey, author of 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, comments:
“In order to be successful in a volatile world, you must unleash the goodwill and creativity of your people. You must organise your culture in a way that will help your people achieve great things without constant supervision form above. Built on Values show exactly how to organise your culture to make that happen.”
There is no “right” culture; there is only right fit. Defining the right fit is a process of determining what values are important to your organization’s success and committing to them. The most critical element is helping your staff adopt and live these behaviours and values every day. Values are only explicitly incorporated into daily operations by tying them to expected behaviours and rewarding your people for living them. The best values are simple values, and you should have not more than five to seven, or people won’t remember them.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A CULTURE CHANGE?
- You are being outperformed by your competitors.
- You have high turnover in key positions
- Your employee and/or customer surveys are consistently low
- If your financial performance is declining
- You just want to go from “good to great”.
SIX PRINCPLES FOR CREATING A VALUES-RICH CULTURE
- You can’t force culture. You can only create environment. A culture is the culmination of the leadership, values, language, people, processes, rules and other conditions, good or bad, present within the organisation. If the behaviour of your board members and leaders does not reflect that values that your school supposedly values, no one will believe that the values are important.
- You are on the outside what you are on the inside. The service you provide to your customers will never be greater than the service you provide to your staff.
- Success is doing the right things the right way. Ask the question, “Does that make sense in light of your values?”
- People do exactly what they are incented to do.
- Input + Output. Values maintenance is as important as values creation. You are never fully “done” with culture; you must always be vigilant that no one backslides into old ways.
- The environment you want can be built on shared, strategic values and financial responsibility.