Company values and manifestos often appear as afterthoughts, reverse-engineered to fit existing behaviours and practices. This approach risks creating disconnection and cynicism among employees, as these values may not reflect the true culture or operations of the company. Instead, businesses should consider their values as the foundation of their actions, and not simply as a marketing tool.

By doing so, companies can ensure their values are not only aspirational, but also actionable and measurable. This shift from consequence to cause can lead to a more authentic and meaningful organisational culture.

To achieve this, companies need to involve all employees in the creation of values, ensuring they are representative of the entire workforce. Additionally, these values need to be consistently reinforced, not just through words, but through actions. This includes rewarding behaviour that aligns with these values, and holding individuals accountable when they do not.

By reversing the cause and consequence of company values and manifestos, businesses can create a more authentic, engaged, and productive workforce.

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