Translating values into tangible assets

Doing the right things right.

Story category: Mission, vision, & values

Story tags: Value, culture


We pride ourselves in having strong control loops; and by control we don’t mean the ability for people to enforce control on othe people, but organizational structures that put people in control of their goals and targets.


Through craftsmanship programs we ensure we have the right competencies and through Lean inspired industrial engineering we make sure we have the right processes, standards, and technology. So far, so good! Through all of these things we make sure that we do things well, but how do we know we are doing the right things?


We have values to give us general decision criteria, and a mission which helps us determine our capability. Values are nice to have, but even though they are defined in definitions, they all hold different meaning to all of us. Just having values is still to vague, we know the direction, but not yet the destination.


To provide a concrete translation of our values we have looked at every value and definition, and have asked ourselve which process, policy, and facility would actually support and strengthen that value.


One ofd our values is “Learning”, and an example of a translation from abstract to concrete organizational features is the creation of the following:


•    Training process
•    Training policy
•    Competency catalog
•    Skill matrix
•    Training budget
•    Training time reservations
•    Training room


By translating the values into tangible artifacts, labeling them clearly, and using them as such, they are no longer just another process/policy/facility but concrte supports to the culture we wish to create. Using them reenvorces the values, improving them becomes an act of strengthening the culture itself.


It is said that: “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. We say: “strategy shapes culture to have culture carry the strategy”.


Moving from abstract values to documented processes, policies, and physical facilities was a great journey which has shown us to do the right things and do those things right.

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