Walk The Talk - Values In Action

29/12/2009 14:04

Most great organizations are driven by a believe system. They believe in a certain set of values which often is defined as the culture of the organization. And what is culture?

Culture is a way of life and ideas embraced by the people and in this context the organization .And these values translated into the organizational culture serves as the bedrock of what the organizations stands for.

From the organizational standpoint these values are enshrined in its mission statement, its core values, its service attributes and on the individual level its defined in its shared values and trickles down  to the staff`s  Pledge to loyalty. Taken in totality or collectively, the organizational mission statement and its core values and the individuals Co pledge is a shared responsibility coupled with accountability. Management is equally responsible and bound to uphold these values as the individual!

These values must be upheld by the organization and by the individual to embark on its great goal as a effective service provider. Failure to fulfill its core values either from the individualistic framework or the organization level would mean it’s suicidal from the corporate standpoint .To address the problem on the individualistic level is far much easier .Deal with the individual. However if the individual problem is seen to be a feature that cuts cross sectionally in the population then it’s a larger problem. This then becomes a culture problem.

An organization failing in its core values and mission statement from the organizational framework would spell disaster to the organization. Not only the goodwill of the staff is lost but the image of the organization is badly tarnished .Sometimes the organization polices and decision may not be in congruent with its values. It confuses the workplace population by its mixed signals. What this actually means is integrity is in question and probably brinkmanship is in play or there is some other unknown agenda. Yes organizations sometimes get entrapped blinded by their corporate goals and companies have failed. And often the only rule to judge the organizations success with its staff is known during the exit of its staff .That would be the handwriting on the wall. If there is overwhelming dissatisfaction among its staff at the exit then the organization has failed and could slide into public ridicule .Whilst organizations may not want to acknowledge this its nevertheless the telling sign that all is not well .

Lets take Singapore Airlines. The cruel episode of SARS bring classic memories of a case in point where an organizations values were not in congruent to what was openly known .It certainly was a wakeup call that broke SQ`s back. Today in post mortem it has been openly acknowledged that mistakes were made .Redeeming back the trust of its employees would almost be next to impossible unless the organization takes an equally drastic measure to redeem and win back the goodwill of the staff .But lessons were learnt .Its often during time of crisis when decisions are made be it the macro and micro level that we get to understand the integrity of the organization.

An emotional attachment between the staff and the parental organization is the lifeline of the organization. An organization without an emotional attachment to its staff will fail and especially so if its core values is in conflict with what was pledged.

Have you heard of walking the talk? Yes, even as individuals are duty bound by its values, organizations too has to walk the talk and live by its core values and organizational acronym’s.Failing which and under the glare of public scrutiny integrity would be questioned and the organization will only be seen as a public spectacle that is tall on symbols to the gallery but low on values.The organization has to come to terms on what it stands for .A conflict in its values spells that the organization belong to the department of flawed judgment and not in SYNC with what it stands for - the end result the organization goes to oblivion and becomes history . But whether we succeed or we fail only

But SQ is not one such organization but there are others that say only history will be the judge. There are many great challengers for SQ but Singapore Airlines always comes out right and SQ can`t afford to be wrong .An organization with a virtue on integrity to uphold its core values to Walk Its Talk will SOAR over its adversities and triumph over crisis .Any organization without an emotional attachment between its staff and the organization and a organization that does not value its Crown Jewels will die! Yes it’s the internal that eventually breaks the camel`s back!


This article has been written by:

Mr. Abraham Judah

Senior Consultant

(+65) 9787 1150




The information and write-ups available on this page are "my own" - The Author and Copyright Owner being Abraham Judah.