This month I’m going to be handed a piece of paper with the Organisation’s new “Values and behaviours”, in my annual performance review.
So this means what I value and how I behave will change once I read what they’re to be this financial year.
This is of course total bollocks.
But this is how command and control organisations think. The theory seems to be that Things and People change because they’re in an official document, approved by senior leaders and cascaded through management hierarchy.
Let’s say that the last time I was told what my new values were to be, that magically they actually changed to be these values. Let’s say that happened.
Let’s say there was internal commitment to these values, and let’s say that this changed my behaviour, and consequently my “performance” changed. Let’s say that happened.
So here I am, thinking and acting differently because the theory held true, that approved values issued through the annual objective setting process, took root and authentically changed me.
Then this financial year a new piece of paper tells me to drop the old ones and take up new values. If I dropped my authentic values like that, then they weren’t really real were they?
Any knowledge of humans you’ve gleaned over your life must tell you this is not how people think or behave. If they change authentically, this takes time, or some big life changing event. Not reading a document, or worse the side of a pen.
If Things and People changed like this, then command and control management works.
Because Things and People don’t change like this, command and control management doesn’t work.
The most important thing to remember about organisational values is….
If you change your values because a piece of paper tells you, then the old values and the new values were not really values.