Values are the guiding principles that you use to make decisions about what you work on and how you go about it. They drive your priorities, attitudes and behaviours.

In Detail

An organisation can be thought of as a series of artefacts - visible organisational structures and processes – which rest upon values, which in turn rest upon underlying assumptions. The artefacts are just the tip of the iceberg, the most visible part.

Values are the strategies, goals and philosophies of a culture - the espoused justifications and reasons that people do things, why they’re driven in a certain direction.

An example of a value might be efficiency, which a culture will use to guide it in deciding the right way to do things. This represents their philosophy and justification for those decisions.

Beneath the values is the foundation, the underlying assumption underneath it all. Because these are underlying assumptions - unconscious, taken for granted beliefs, habits of perception,
thought and feeling - they’re very hard to get a handle on. It may take some time to figure out what an organisation’s underlying assumptions are.

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