October 9, 2019

72: How to Create Team Values

In his book Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, Gino Wickman says you have to have “the right people in the right seats.” Team values help ensure you have the ‘right people’ by making explicit the way the group expects people to act and interact. By doing so, you are able to elevate ‘how work gets done’ to the same importance as ‘what is accomplished.’

In this episode, I explain what team values are, how they differ from organizational or personal values and how to create them with your team.

The full episode guide includes a list of value terms to select from, an overview of the values structure and process, examples and templates. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: Align Your Team by Creating Shared Values

Key Takeaways:

  • Unlike organizational values, which apply to all employees and are part of the “north star” that guides the enterprise, team values focus on what matters most to this particular group.
  • When someone isn’t acting in alignment with your team’s values, you can work with them the same way you’d work with a team member to develop any competency or skill.
  • To create team values, gather input from the entire team on the values they believe are important. It’s OK for these values to be aspirational.
  • Group the values by theme and together decide which groupings are most critical. Aim for 5-7 in total.
  • A team value has three components: (1) the term, (2) the definition, (3) what it’s not.
  • Create draft values that include a suggested term, starting statement that further illuminates what this value represents, and a starting statement of what it’s not which depicts what overuse of this value might be.
  • Enhance these statements as a group with the goal of good enough to go forward. It’s OK if not everyone feels fully aligned as these are the team values, not a collection of individual values.
  • Agree to revisit the values in 6-12 months after you’ve had time to live with them.

Additional Resources:


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