Values – ideal or real

I am blogging from my friend Thomas’s office in Essex. All around are those inspirational posters… eg “PERSISTENCE Now that we’ve exhausted all possibilities… let’s get started” (With a picture of a pencil worn down to the stub.)

Tom tells me he used to like these things but increasingly he finds them annoying. I think he’ll be taking them down soon.

In the end, these exhortations to live up to ideal values will irritate any sane person… This reminds me of the conversation I had yesterday with my Mutual Marketing partner Tim Kitchin. We both agreed that the trouble with many statements of values that companies produce is that they are so poorly connected with reality.

If that’s true, then making statements of ideals simply undermines credibility and probably reduces an organisation’s ability to live up to them.

In change work, I’ve often found more energy for change comes from an honest acknowledgement of where we are, than of fantasies of where we’d like to be.

2 thoughts on “Values – ideal or real

  1. Broadband and Me

    Values – real or imaginary?

    The Ourhouse Weblog: Values – ideal or real John Moore has started his own blog via his consultancy site Ourhouse I am very much in tune with John’s approach, not to mention he keeps bloggin me on the Beyond Branding…

  2. Daniel Newt

    If motivational posters strike you as condescending, coercive or otherwise counter-productive, you owe it to yourself to visit

    An alternative universe, full of “Demotivational” (or is it “Demotivational


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