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  • Writer's pictureErika Clegg

Three sure signs that your culture’s gone feral

Values are your opportunity to underpin a thriving culture that gets everyone working towards a common goal. So if your values aren’t driving your culture - what is?

Here are some common signs of a culture that’s strayed from values-driven towards an altogether darker place …

1. Yes, no, that’s great thanks!

If people are afraid to point out when work is falling short of expectations, your whole team is some way along a path it’s hard to come back from. One of the powers of a good values set is that it gives everybody the words to depersonalise tough conversations. Without that your people need to frame critical feedback their own way, which at one extreme can lead to sweariness, at the other, reluctant acceptance of below-par work to avoid confrontation.

2. Yeah, well, whatevs

Does your team do the bare minimum? If that's endemic, then you most likely have an issue with your vision, and the values that support it. Perhaps the vision doesn’t speak to your people’s own ambitions? Maybe the values aren’t demanding enough to get you all there? A team united by a shared goal and push values will consistently go ‘the extra mile’ - for themselves and for each other.

3. What, me?

You might have a wonderful values set tied to a strong vision, and 99% of your team might be dedicated to making it work. But if you have outliers they will have a strong gravitational pull - remember the back of the bus rebels at school? It’s for you to ensure the whole team respects and commits to the values, or else something different will create your culture. If it seems to you that everyone around you is playing by the rules and yet the culture feels off, look inward. The culture rebel might, unwittingly, be you.


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