Creating an Ideal Culture - Part 4

As we conclude this exploration of organizational cultures, we go to the deepest part. Values, like beliefs, are elements extremely important to us, but we are not aware of them until we face a situation that forces them into our consciousness. Integrity, honesty, and ethical beliefs are a few values that often drive organizational and ethical behaviors.As a coach, I usually begin a coaching relationship with a values clarification exercise. Values are foundational elements to the ways we think, act, and behave. Organizations are coming into awareness about the importance of value identification and are creating value statements to guide the organization. These value statements are as important as the mission and vision statements.The deepest elements we find below the surface of the tree are the assumptions that feed the entire person and organization, passing through each element all the way through the roots, trunk, and branches to the tips of the leaves. Our assumptions are the most deeply ingrained of all the elements, created by our mental models.Mental models are the lenses or filters by which we view the world, and no two are alike. Comprised of our familial, educational, community, religious, personal, and professional experiences, our mental models help us make sense, assumptions, and judgments about our life experiences. For example if I said, “pop” what would you think? Some may think of their father, a loud noise, a gun, gum, or soda. Whatever you thought of is reflective of your mental model.So how do we create a culture based on love and love-based leadership? We start with the roots and work our way up. We begin with awareness and make conscious, strategic choices to create an environment based on love and not on fear. We recognize our own mental models and broaden our beliefs.We wrap awareness around our values and deepen our understanding of how they affect our beliefs and behaviors. We strategically infuse our organizational culture with continued learning and development. We intentionally instill a sense of shared ownership and power in the work we do, providing channels for meaningful work experiences, and we wrap all of these strategies in love.As always, I love it when you share your insights.With love,Maria