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Are your values a load of bollox?

Are your core values a load of old bollox?

‘Integrity. Excellence. Teamwork. Quality’… recognise any of these? Loads of businesses use them to describe their company values. And they smack of corporate hot air and waffle. No wonder people get cynical and doubtful when they think of company values. If they use words like this, they’re meaningless. What’s the point of having them if they’re the same as everyone else’s? 

When I see words like ‘Integrity’ written on company websites and handbooks, it makes me shudder. Even well-intentioned people that I’ve worked with have core values that are total bollox. I think they get them confused with branding or company positioning statements. But they’re not that at all.

Core values should be the definition of your company’s culture. Simple as that. They’re a shorthand way of capturing behaviours that you see as crucial in your business. Behaviours that will enable you to execute your strategy. And your values should be unique to you. Otherwise, they’re not worth the paper they’re written on.

[Rebroadcast] The Power of Staying Curious
with Michael Bungay Stanie

If you want to improve the managers in your business, says Michael Bungay Stanier, do more coaching. You might think coaching equals being soft, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. 

“When I’m asked to talk about my philosophy of coaching I’ve got two words, and the words are Fierce Love.”

Michael wrote the book on coaching, literally. The Coaching Habit is the biggest book on coaching this century. He is the go-to guy for anything coaching related – his 7 questions format has revolutionised coaching, and while we don’t necessarily talk about those today, they do feature. 

In this enlightening episode all about coaching, Michael, who’s also founder of Box of Crayons – a learning and development company helping organisations shift from advice-driven to curiosity-led, talks about his latest book – The Advice Trap. 

This conversation is full of fantastic insights from Michael on how to be a better coach, how to be a better leader, and how to encourage coaching inside your organisation. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

The Arthur Brooks Show

Dig into the art of disagreement and the power of love with social scientist Arthur Brooks. Against the backdrop of a toxic political climate engendered by the 2016 presidential election, season one focuses on the ways we can better disagree with our friends, family, and community. The second season focuses on love: what it means to find meaning in our work, loving our country, and how to love our enemies.

How good is your do-to-say ratio?

Think for a moment about all the colleagues in your immediate circle, whether they are your peers or people you manage. Which of them can be trusted to follow through when they say they are going to do something? And which ones make you think to yourself, “Hmm, that’s probably not going to happen. I’ll have to follow up”?

Creating a strategy that works

Almost every business today faces major strategic challenges. The path to creating value is seldom clear. In an ongoing global survey of senior executives conducted by Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business, more than half of the 4,400 respondents said they didn’t think they had a winning strategy. In another survey of more than 500 senior executives around the world, nine out of 10 conceded that they were missing major opportunities in the market. In the same survey, about 80 percent of those senior executives said that their overall strategy was not well understood, even within their own company.

Your culture is the behaviors you reward and punish

Workplace culture is more than “the way we do things around here.” It’s the gap between what we are saying and what we are doing. The behavior that’s tolerated – not your words – determines the real culture.

The Habit of Excellence by Liutenant Colonel Langley Sharp

The British Army stands or falls on the quality of its leadership. The stakes couldn’t be higher. In The Habit of Excellence, Lieutenant Colonel Langley Sharp MBE – head of the Centre for Army Leadership, part of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst – distils over three centuries of the Army’s experience in the art, science and practice of leadership. Exploring questions that are fundamental to leadership in any area of life – how to build trust and cohesion, achieve a balance between control and delegation, and deliver results in the face of adversity – the book draws on Lt Col Sharp’s own experience and the latest research in military history, business, sociology, psychology and behavioural science. We see that leadership is not about the heroic exception, but the habitual practice of doing what is right, difficult and necessary every single day to build a team, look after the people in it and work towards the next objective. This is the first time one of the world’s most revered institutions has given an inside and institutional view on what makes its leadership so effective. Going far beyond the latest leadership fads, The Habit of Excellence is for any leader committed to maximising the effectiveness of their teams and unlocking the potential of their people – and themselves.

Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout

A newly revised and expanded edition of the revolutionary business classic, Differentiate or Die, Second Edition shows you how to differentiate your products, services, and business in order to dominate the competition. Veteran marketing guru Jack Trout uses real-world examples and his own unique insight to show you how to bind customers to your products for long-term success and loyalty. This edition includes new case studies, new research, and updated examples from around the world.


Be deliberate about learning new things to enable your brain’s plasticity

Learning new things doesn’t happen by accident. You have to be deliberate about it. Otherwise, you get stuck. Studying neuroscience, I learned that you need to learn new things to retain brain plasticity after the age of 25. It doesn’t matter what, as long as you’re learning something new. So, one of the things I ask clients when setting OKRs is to include individual personal development goals around learning something new every 90 days.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur and your business is your largest asset, what did you learn in the last 90 days to help you grow your asset? Now that we are on the verge of 2022, it’s a great time to start thinking what skills you need to help you grow your business. Then, build your personal development plan for all of next year.

Upcoming Events

The Melting Pot Live Webinar with Bryony Thomas – 22nd November

Join Dominic Monkhouse and Bryony Thomas for a Live Webinar to dive into her book Watertight Marketing. They will be talking about all things business and marketing to give you the insight, energy, and passion you need for the rest of the year and next quarter.

Quote of the week

“If you’re not willing to accept the pain real values incur, don’t bother going to the trouble of formulating a values statement.”

Patrick Lencioni

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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