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February 2013

Will RISES prevent a fall?

After writing about values for the past few weeks, it seems only appropriate to pause to consider the new values-based direction that Barclays Bank is taking.

Barclays-LogoThe new CEO has apparently decided that 5 values should be at the centre of the business. These are respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship (RISES). (Now I have no idea whether Barclays is using this mnemonic or not, but having come up with it I cannot help thinking it would be brilliant if they are, because it would mean without any effort at all they could now claim their logo is a phoenix and not an eagle!) But, jokes aside, the values themselves seem reasonable.

In fact they are just the values you would expect from a bank. They seem so obvious that you have to ask yourself how they managed to move so far away from them in the first place. So encouraging though this is, there are aspects that still give cause for concern.

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Consistent Values: Key to Community Building

If values define your vision and your vision shapes the behaviour that builds the community that drives your organisation, you would have to agree that your values are key, wouldn’t you? Certainly the clearer, the more comprehensive and the more consistent your values are the stronger your community will be – and the more successful and the more sustainable your organisation will be as a result. Remember: “No community = no business.”

Creating Consistency_000003083579XSmallSo how well are you doing at communicating and cementing yours?

One thing is for sure, you cannot do it properly if you are not consistent. And the problem is that very often businesses are sending out conflicting messages. Let me give you an example.

Earlier today I received an email with the headline, “We are helping businesses to thrive and survive in 2013. Can we

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Values: The Power Behind Vision

“What is my vision for my organisation?” That’s the question I left you with last. So, how are you doing?

Green Eye_000011448939XSmallOf course you are the best judge of that, but, if your business could be doing better, you should consider the possibility that it may be because your vision isn't strong enough? Now I am not saying that is the case but simply asking you to open your mind to the possibility. After all “Where there is no vision the people perish” can just as easily be stated as, “Where there is no vision the business dies.” That being the case, you have no reason not to at least reassess your vision.

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The Core of Effective Communication

Effective communication is a life-skill and certainly a core competency for any leader. Whether you are trying to change the culture of your organisation, transform its business entirely or simply battling to cope with the constant change that is an integral part of everyday business life, good communication skills are vital. If you cannot communicate effectively you don’t have a snowball in hell’s chance of succeeding.

Unfortunately, communication is a two way process. Thus it is not something you can do on your own. No matter how good at it you are, you depend on someone else. And the thing is, the other person does not feel exactly the way you do about the situation. And, organisationally at least, effective communication means getting someone else to feel the same way you do.


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