Creativity and inspiration tend to strike at the most unusual times. It happened to me the morning of my first webinar on “Building a High Performing Culture.” 

I awoke at 3:30 a.m. and jumped out of bed with a new “AH HA!” My subconscious had been working while I slept and connected many truths about values and performance. 

The realization seemed obvious yet so easy to miss. I experienced a feeling of euphoria that was so intense I couldn’t keep from leaping around the bedroom. 

The discovery could have such significant impact on organizational leaders—something they are on the lookout for to inspire and motivate their people and create high performing workplaces. 

What hit me that morning was a source of life force energy that everyone everywhere could benefit from. That source is our personal values. 

Facilitating cultural change through personal values

Personal values are a source of life force energy. They energize us, make us feel happy, give us joy when they are lived and sorrow or frustration when they are not. 

They are the embodiment of our heart and soul calling us to action, connecting us to the world around us, and helping us perform to our highest potential. 


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Values-based Leadership through Dialogue

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For leaders, values are the heartbeat of excellence that intrinsically motivate and inspire their people. For managers, these are the things they want to make sure are frequently acknowledged and recognized. 

The more a person is aware of their values the more valuable the values become for them and the world around them. Awakening your personal values is a source of inspiration and motivation, a source of high performance that comes from within. 

For example, I value continuous learning. Continuous learning is important to me because it enables personal growth and development, and increases my self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Feeling more competent and capable adds value and purpose to my life. 

Values are an every-day motivator 

Values seem so simple and yet they are so profound. How many people are aware of the values in life that motivate them and give them extra energy? How often do people let others know what it is that will drive them to go give 110% on the job and in life?

Like the air we breathe, our lives without values would be empty, lifeless, and soulless. Our personal values are at the core of who we are, what we believe in, our self-worth, and how we behave. 

When we are living our personal values we feel good, we have a positive mental attitude, and feel like we are living life to the fullest. 

Why values matter to collaborative organizations

To truly appreciate the power of personal values, think of a time when you were in conflict with someone, when your values were stepped on because what you valued was being ignored. 

How did it feel? 

Imagine your highest value is trust. Your manager tells you that the project you have been promised for six months is going to be given to another person. Irrespective of the reasons why, how would you feel—angry, frustrated, let down? 

When the values that define who you are at the core of your being are ignored or disrespected, the feeling can be intensely negative. You feel your self-worth is being threatened. 

You may feel so uncomfortable the emotions cause you to want to leave that team or organization.

Treat a person right and you have a loyal friend for life. Mistreat them by stepping on their values and you have one very unhappy, potentially dangerous individual. 

Improving organizational morale by supporting values

Our values are a source of personal excellence and high performance. They exist inside of us all the time. All we need to do is awaken them. Removing stress at a deep level in the human system is one way. Stress can inhibit self-awareness—some people bury their emotions as a self-protection mechanism. Once the stress is removed, a person’s sense of perception becomes clearer and they are better able to observe their thoughts and emotions. 

Another way is to make the time for personal reflection to discover their values. Who am I? What gives me joy and happiness? What means the most to me and why? What do I do when I am living these values? 

Today I might answer creativity, teamwork, and freedom. When I am able to live these values my spirit soars and I produce my best results. 

Personal Values and Conscious Leadership

Imagine the power a conscious leader would have if they knew how to unleash the unlimited power of values within their organization. 

Conscious leaders are able to integrate the head and the heart by developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence, while empowering others to do the same. The possibilities and opportunities are endless. 

Some of the most successful companies have figured it out and invest in their culture for this reason.  

Look at Google, Ikea, Southwest Airlines, and Amazon, a few of the most successful corporations in America. Each one of these firms is at least 1649% more profitable for investors over a 15-year period.  

This begs the question, how do they do it?

 The answer is they invest in their culture and consider it to be one of their most valuable assets. They have learned which values and behaviors mean the most to their stakeholders, and enliven those values in everything they do and every decision they make. 

An example of this is Google, which hires three-star chefs in all of their campuses and provides gourmet meals 24×7. One financial impact of this culture is they do not have to search for talent. The top talent is lined up at Google’s door wanting to join the team, contribute, and make a difference. 

Culture can be defined as how you do things, your management style, and the way you make decisions. The way you do things is heavily dependent on your values and norms of behavior. 

Are you an inspirational leader? Do you lead by example? Or is command and control more your comfort zone where you expect people to “do as I say and not as I do?” 

Values at different levels of your organization

In today’s business world values are playing a much greater role in strategic decision making and are now a topic of discussion around the boardroom table. 


Because values such as integrity, loyalty, respect, and trust are key drivers for success in the post-pandemic world. They are directly connected to how you implement your vision and strategies and the personality of the people, in particular the leadership. 

The organizational culture you create will enable you to attract, retain, and draw out the best talent available to you. 

Recent studies show that the number one reason why nine out of ten strategic initiatives fail is a disregard for an organization’s existing culture and the effort it takes to change behavior

There is a well-known saying by Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Applied to culture change this means whatever new strategies a leadership team creates will not succeed unless they are aligned with the current or desired culture.  

How can you expect different results unless you focus consciously on changing the way people behave and interact with each other. 

Leaders are recognizing how important empowered employees, collaboration, and the power of collective action are to achieving business results. 

The ability to achieve internal cohesion through dialogue on important decisions is valued and is now becoming the goal. This is a shift in thinking and behavior from “me” to “we”. The “we” is the ability to create shared goals with shared values. 

Facilitating cultural change to support values

Having a common approach to achieving the goals is the new way of working together. Imagine what this will mean to leaders who only know a command and control style of leadership. 

It will require the development of a new facilitative style of leadership—one that is more engaged in dialogue with a focus on building consensus and engaging participation. This can be a huge change in what leaders’ value, the way they behave, and how performance is measured. 

The way of reaching your goals and realizing your strategies is embedded in how people act and interact with one another. 

We all know Einstein’s theory of insanity: “Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” 

Well here’s mine for cultural insanity: Expecting your employees to embrace new work habits and higher levels of collaboration between teams, while maintaining the same management style, organizational values, and behaviors. 

Creating a conscious culture in your organization

In the post-pandemic work environment where increasing awareness and knowledge management is a competitive advantage, it would stand to reason that creating a conscious culture would be a management priority. This begs the question: “Are you thinking about investing in your culture or will you continue to have an unconscious, default culture?”  

There are several reasons to invest in creating a conscious culture:  

  • To become an employer of choice, and build a high performing workplace. 
  • To increase employee engagement and retention. 
  • To build a new culture after a merger or acquisition. 
  • To conduct an environmental scan prior to strategic planning

The aim of this webinar it to highlight the importance of leading with values through dialogue and to introduce the Culture Transformation course, which is based on the book, Conscious Culture – How to Build a High Performing Workplace through Values, Ethics and Leadership. 

In the webinar we demonstrate the power values have to inspire and motivate employee engagement to build a high performing workplace culture. 

Cultural change with certified facilitators

Having been involved in business transformations for the past forty years and being a facilitative leader for half that time, Joanna shares her wisdom and experience to support your culture transformation journey. 

The insights shared are aimed at making a difference for the people in or associated with your organization: your employees, clients, suppliers, and the communities in which you operate. 

We invite you to register for the webinar:

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Values-based Leadership through Dialogue

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