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What does it take for an organisation to truly live its values, and crucially - to sustain them over the long-term?
It’s a recognizable feature of modern-day working life to many of us: the company mission statement is brandished from the website to the office walls, but day-to-day behaviours fall far short of the stated ideals – so far often as to feel downright hypocritical.
“We’re all about our people” - but employees are stressed and stretched to breaking point. “We’re open and respectful” - but bosses are egotistical or tyrannical, and staff are afraid to speak out about the bullying or bad manners of their colleagues.
Is it time to call this all out as business BS? Or is it really possible to create a values-based culture that is authentic and has staying power? Will there always a gap between values and practice? Is it just an inevitability of human nature? Or are there things we could do, individually and structurally, to help close it?
At the RSA, a panel of expert thinkers and do-ers who have ‘been there, done that’, help us identify the barriers that stop organisations living up to their values – and show the way for us all to do better.
World Values Day
At a time of growing concern about values in so many areas of society – in business, in politics, in traditional media and social media, in the justice system, in responding to the refugee crisis, in almost every area of our lives - World Values Day gives an opportunity to re-assess our values and those of the organisations and communities we belong to, and our commitment to them. How can we do better at putting our values into practice?
To mark this year’s World Values Day, 19th October 2017, the RSA is collaborating with the Forward Institute and the UK Values Alliance in an initiative called the Values Challenge. Groups and organisations of all kinds are invited to take part in an intensive one-hour session to help them close the gap between the values they aspire to and how they are lived in practice.
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