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Communicating Vision and Values


We are multi-sited organisation with some a definitive vision and set of values. These are visible on our website and displayed on huge A1 size posters in the reception area of our locations. However, next year we would like to carry out an exercise that refreshes everyone on the organisation's vision and values, to encourage everyone in the orgnanisation to consider these at the core of all actvity.
We aren't keen on running workshops as its a 24/7 operation and experience tells us its a logisitical nightmare delivering to over 1000 employees
Any ideas ??
Lisa Arrowsmith

4 Responses

  1. bite size
    I can see your problem with the logistics of workshops if you try to run them in the traditional sense…how about a bite sized approach?

    Take small bits from what you would run in a longer workshop and run them in smaller, less formal sessions.

    For example you could get 20 people and a manager (suitably skilled to facilitate the group) and run a one hour interactive session on “How do/can we make this value live in the workplace”.

    This could be repeated several times to cover all the values as necessary.

    This could have several potentially valuable side effects in that it not only fulfills your stated goals of “refreshing” and “encouraging”, but also
    -practices your managers in the skills of facilitation and presentation.
    -If the sessions are interactive they could produce outcomes such as suggestions or visualisations that would be useful later or elsewhere in the organisation.
    -By “delivering” in house you save all the travel, expenses and fees cost normally associated with workshops.

    I have recently written a plan for a similar project for a multisite operation, not exactly the same, but with many parallels. The external cost to the organisation is a pittance in real terms


  2. think marketing not training…
    Hi Lisa

    As Rus has said using bite sized sessions can be of great value. I am in the process of delivering a simular ‘continuation’ message for a property management company, it is working well.

    Other options include:
    Regular ideas & thoughts in team briefings or newsletters, changing messages at canteens/ vending machines (I did this in the run up to an IIP assessment and staff loved it).

    What about a competition for departmental heads for them finding innovative ways of communicating the message to their teams – then the winners announced and a small prize to the winning department (not just the manager).

    What about a part of a socual function – quiz night…

    What about a marketing campaign – value of the week?

    What about liasing with IT and having the message broadcast periodically across computer screens? or screen savers changed to present key messages – the ‘trick’ here is to keep them changing

    Good luck


  3. Hmmm…
    Hi Lisa,

    Let me start with an observation:

    Your organisation’s values may be on A1 posters in reception, and on your web site, along with your vision.

    They are also communicated through what management says and does, the language and styles it uses, and also in what it doesn’t say and do.

    For example, what kind of value(s) do you think is being sent out by NOT running workshops? How genuinely and deeply will the workforce connect with the values and vision if the organisation feels it’s not worth the ‘hassle’ of getting people together to discuss, explore and make shared meaning of the vision and values?

    You don’t necessarily need to get everybody together at once. As part of an operation that helps large organisations with similar aims I know from experience that managers being clear about their own values and vision, and acting in a way that is aligned with the values of the organisation is one of the most effective ways of communicating values – and you don’t need to spend money on posters, web site pages and workshops!

    So I guess I have one question and one suggestion:

    Q: what has triggered this desire in the organisation to refresh values and vision?

    S: help managers to clarify their own values, act congruently with these, and then help them to align with the organisation’s stated values. The first part doesn’t require a ‘top down’ approach, but the second part does – if the CEO isn’t acting congruently with stated values, the show is over!

    Example: organisation pays minimum wages, CEO has a £100K company car that s/he parks outside reception in a designated disabled parking space – and then wonders why it’s difficult to get employees to behave according to stated values!

    I do have some ideas about what you might do, but an answer to my question will help me target things for you.

    Best wishes,


  4. a bit bah humbug, but…
    I agree with some of Martin’s comments. If you’re having to “refresh” everyone’s memory then something is wrong with how your management is behaving – otherwise the values would be clear.

    The vision is a slightly different proposition, however, and occasionally people do need reminding of the “big picture”. If face to face communication is not an option, why not get a really good piece of print to give to everyone? Something visual and memorable. Then follow it up through looking at appraisals and objective setting, so that everything cascades from it. Linking it to reward and appraisal does tend to concentrate the mind.

    Not sure what you’ll do about the values, though. If these were meant to be meaningful, they would already be at the core of people’s objectives.

    Do I sound a bit negative? Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen so many organisations use vision and values to tick a box, rather than use them properly and powerfully – which generally means that it’s about behaviour, rather than posters.


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