Join Jeff Weiner for an in-depth discussion in this video Vision to values: Culture, part of On Leadership by Jeff Weiner.
- So at this point, in Vision of Values, it's important to recognize that it's not just about the what, it's also about the how. Everything up until this point was oriented towards the what. We need to talk about the how. Because, in the environment in which we currently operate, you can't just be focused on the what. We talk about the unintended consequences of measurable goals. There's unintended consequences to virtually everything you define for an organization. Every time you actually spell out what it is that you want to accomplish, there are potentially unintended consequences. And this is despite the best of your intentions. You could be incredibly philanthropic in your long term view of the world, in terms of wanting to do good for others. And yet, with the way technology is used, and the scale and the speed of it, there's going to be a likely situation where your innovation is used in ways you didn't intend for it to be used. If you're only focused on the what, that is inevitable. If you're only focused on the next dollar of revenue, the next dollar of profitability, the next dollar of share price, the next percent of growth. It is inevitable. And you can see it in the headlines every week now. Decisions that were made years ago by companies that seemingly had the best of intentions are doing harm. They're doing harm. How can you potentially mitigate that challenge? You focus not just on the what, but also the how. You focus on the culture of your organization, you focus on the values of your organization. With regard to culture, we're talking about the collective personality of our organization. Who we are and who we aspire to be. That aspirational component absolutely critical. This is something oftentimes overlooked. Executive will get up on stage, start talking about an organization's culture, people are furiously scribbling notes. Several weeks later, that executive's in a meeting, say or does something that has nothing to do with the culture that they just defined for the organization. And what happens next? What's that? Discredits the executive. More importantly, potentially discredits the culture. You start repeating that behavior over and over, it's happening across multiple executives and multiple meetings, and pretty sure, people stop paying attention. That is not only a problem, it's a massive opportunity lost. For us, our culture has become, and our values have become arguably our greatest competitive advantage. They enable us to do certain things, take certain risks, operate the companies in certain ways, trust our employees to do certain things that enable us to scale that much faster. Culture and values I wouldn't trade for anything. So it's so important that you include that aspirational component, so that everyone comes together to play up to who you aspire to be. And not down to the lowest common denominator. Not down to your fears. A lot of times people have set a very low bar because they're fearful of what happens. We can't say we're going to be open, honest, and constructive because once we go public we can't share everything with everyone. Well why not? Ah, because someone might leak. Well they might leak it. But if we trust them, and they feel like it's their information too, and we're treating everyone like adults within this company, maybe that's not what's going to happen. And maybe we can use that as a competitive advantage. Because now that we can share everything with everyone, we can get that many more people to help solve really important problems. That's how culture becomes a competitive advantage. Our culture of five dimensions, transformation, integrity, collaboration, humor and results, we do a whole separate class just on culture and values, but this is just about Vision of Values. This is just an example.
Learn about the importance of maintaining awareness of yourself, your team, your industry, and the world at large. Explore the topic of synthesis, which you achieve through developing your vision and values and by focusing on the most important priorities. Plus, learn about the role of inspiration in leadership, both in terms of being true to your own values and motivating others.