Donald Sull, Stefano Turconi, and Charles Sull wrote an article from MIT Sloan Management Review titled When It Comes to Culture, Does Your Company Walk the Talk? (July 21, 2020).

« The analysis reveals that there is no correlation between the cultural values a company emphasizes in its published statements and how well the company lives up to those values in the eyes of employees. All of the correlations between official and actual values were very weak, and four of the nine — collaboration, customer orientation, execution, and diversity — were negatively correlated.  »

« Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, and Barclays each included ethics or integrity among their core values in the years before their wrongdoings were discovered, while Boeing hit the trifecta by listing integrity, quality, and safety among its “enduring values.” »

The CEO doth protest too much, methinks.

« Ten percent of organizations listed two or more sets of values under different names (core values and corporate culture, for example) on different parts of their website. »

« Values Should Be Actionable, Distinctive, and Linked to Results »

« Articulate what makes your organization distinctive. A company’s core values should capture its unique identity — the enduring essence of the company that distinguishes it from competitors. When employees identify with a distinctive culture, they are more likely to incorporate core values in their daily activities and pursue their organization’s goals. A distinctive corporate culture can also differentiate an organization from competitors and provide a source of sustainable competitive advantage. »

« One approach is to translate abstract values into organization-specific behavioral guidelines… Another approach is to take common values as a given, but then highlight those elements of corporate culture that differentiate an organization.  »

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