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Strengthening Your Organisation with Shared Values

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Our values are the principles and standards that we hold. They are the things that are important to us at our core. They are the things we aspire to be. Our values form our beliefs and attitudes, and ultimately our behaviours and actions. Our values are personal and affect every part of our lives and every decision we make.  

When the values that we hold are shared by the people around us we are drawn towards them and when our values are not shared a tension can develop and divide. This same effect is seen within organisations, when values are shared people are drawn together and when they are not shared people are divided. It is common practice for every organisation to declare there values, but are they really shared across each team and at every level of the organisation?  

Organisational Values must have buy-in at every level of an organisation, and those in leadership should be especially committed to it, with a visible constancy of purpose. 



Organisational Values reinforce the overall mission and vision while guiding the direction of your organisation, informing strategy, recruitment, and your culture. Every organisation has values, with the intention to inspire, remind, and drive performance with these guiding principles -or so the traditional thinking goes. But organisational values do not become embedded across the organisation by putting them on the walls!

For organisational values to be embedded widely through each team and truly influence and guide behaviours, enabling consistent decision making, they must be shared by those individuals. People need to feel connected to the values of the organisation.


Shared values are more than a value proposition of what your organisation produces, delivers, or creates. They are more than the mission and what activities you will conduct. Truly shared values are the spirit of your organisation.

When there is a disconnect between the values held by individuals, teams, or your entire organisations, internal battles are created and diverging priorities begin to take hold in different pockets of your organisation. What is important, what behaviours are expected, and what the most important thing right now is, become misaligned and start to distract energy and focus from the shared mission.

A value shared is a value lived

This article is distributed as part of our monthly Organisational Development Newsletter. Sign up here to join the growing community of leaders and change makers.


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