There is a lot of work carried out in Leadership development which focusses on the importance of values and creating the right culture for your company to operate in.
The best companies have a set of core values which set the tone for the company which dictate the conditions the employees operate in and the company’s clients respond to. The leaders of the organisation are responsible for communicating these values and should help create the type of company they want to lead. The kind of values that are often advocated are integrity, trust, passion, encouragement and so on.
Bearing in mind what has come to light this week at The News of the World you have to question which values were of importance to the leaders responsible for the culture at the newspaper. Whether or not the Editors knew what exactly was going on is largely immaterial as the people carrying out the reprehensible hacking of a missing girl’s mobile phone clearly believed this was acceptable behaviour.
This gives an insight into the type of culture that was in play at the paper, a culture where getting the story at whatever the cost was the driving factor. The stories coming out at the moment suggest that as many as 4,000 people have potentially had their phones hacked in search of a story. This is not a one off incident, it is a method that appears to have been condoned at NOTW and used on a regular basis during Rebekah Brookes’ tenure as Editor there. If that culture is not acceptable, as is obviously the case here, the first step should be to review the leadership. Changing the bottom of the pyramid will not necessarily produce the change in culture and values that is required.
The leaders of any organisation are responsible for the values and culture at their company and the way their teams operate and behave are a reflection of that culture. If integrity is a major value within the organisation and is communicated effectively you will find the people their demonstrating this value in their work.
If you have specific standards and values you will find that you attract people with similar values when you are looking to recruit. It is a simlar story with potential clients the image you project as a company will appeal to different sections of the market.
As we have seen with News International this week this is a really important factor in achieving goals and success with your organisation. Having a clear idea of what you and your company stands for is an important message for a leader to communicate.
Three questions to ask yourself;
1) do you know what your values are?
2) Have you communicated these clearly to people within your organisation?
3) How would your customers describe your company and your values?