Can your core values conflict with empowerment?
The answer is, emphatically, no.
According to the online resource Your Dictionary, core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong.
My own definition is pretty close to that: Core values are the behavioral traits inherent in an organization. At ENAVATE, they are what is in our heart and in our DNA and they’re unchanging. And they are printed on our company notebooks, so team members and customers alike can see them. Obviously, we take them very seriously.
Those core values are:
- Team Members: We take care of our own.
- Innovation: We explore, evolve and seek excellence on every level.
- Results: We are high achievers who set high goals and reach them.
- Integrity: We are trustworthy. Our word is our bond.
Those core values guide the way we operate in all facets of our business, from interacting with customers to hiring team members. In our very first interview with potential new team members, we talk through these values.
We first devised our core values four years ago, well before we embarked on our empowerment journey. Happily, we’ve found that those core values integrate perfectly with the three keys to empowerment. In fact, empowerment is all about taking care of and building up our team members.
If you’ve been following along as we’ve written about Empowerment, you may remember that the first key to empowering the team is Sharing Information. To me, that sharing is a foundation for the core value of integrity. When we’re open with information, honesty can’t help but result.
Sharing information also is vital to that third core value. Because if you don’t share information, people can’t make good decisions. And without good decisions, you can’t achieve results.
The second empowerment key is autonomy through boundaries. When teams are not used to making decisions, giving them that power is a new experience, and one that requires guidance and encouraging team members to grow by using their strengths, smarts and talents. And, once again, that empowered decision-making by all team members generates better results for the company.
Not to mention that the entire empowerment program is, itself, innovation.
Which brings us to the third empowerment key: Teams become the hierarchy. When your teams are truly are empowered, they have information and ability to make decisions. They set goals and hold each other accountable for achieving the results. And, to do that, everything must be transparent, and everyone must behave with integrity.
It isn’t just luck that our core values and empowerment principles are so tightly entwined. By definition, empowerment is about valuing team members and giving them the information and the tools they need to achieve results. And everyone must display high integrity, or it will never work.
About the Author Thomas Ajspur
Thomas is a seasoned entrepreneur who began working with Microsoft Dynamics 25 years ago as an ERP user and implementer, and then utilized it as the system to run his own business. In 1999, Thomas joined the Microsoft Dynamics Professional Services industry with a focus on building ERP high performance organizations in Europe and the US and is known in the industry for selling large international AX deals. He is CEO of ENAVATE Holdings, LLC.