August 16, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Value Statements

One thing executives are quite fond of is value statements. Quite often I see posters dotted around my clients' offices sporting motivational mantras that - according to the people who write them - define the core values of their organisation.

But I think they've got it all wrong. A "value" is something you live your life by. If your "value" statement is "we always go that extra mile", then that means that you really, actually do got that extra mile. It doesn't mean that you sometimes go that extra mile. Or that you aspire to go that extra mile. Values are a line that we do not knowingly cross.

The "value statements" hanging from a million office walls are not actually value statements at all; they're vision statements. The problem being that when we confuse values with visions, we can easily forget that we're not actually like that yet, and fail to do anything to meet these aspirations.

Company values describe what we're like, not what we wish to be.
Posted 15 years, 4 months ago on August 16, 2006