Feb 9, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Walk teamwork talk beyond those framed plaques to avoid failure

At most organizations’ receptions, you’re likely to see a boxed list of values ​​that encompass integrity, professionalism, customer focus, and teamwork.

Values ​​represent the core of a belief system. Our values ​​guide our behavior. A person may decide that they will not drink alcohol because they have adopted their values ​​from their religion, which prohibits alcohol. Behavior is a direct reflection of values. More broadly, a collection of values ​​that guide our behavior becomes our culture.

What does it mean when an organization wants to bring about culture change? This brings with it another dynamic – goals and objectives. What does the organization want to achieve? That birthing strategy that defines how we achieve what we set out to do.

Many leaders have found that strategy doesn’t work if the culture isn’t right. The mistake they make, however, is that they try to impose a new culture by issuing policies. It just won’t work because, as mentioned before, the culture lives on values. They must be values ​​in people’s hearts and minds. Values ​​that are not lived are useless decorations on the wall.

So: “How do we get people to live the values?” To answer this, we must first consider how to do it not power. For example, my parents were lovely churchgoing Christians who tried to do everything by the book. The greatest values ​​I learned from them can be summed up as hard work and doing good. For those who read Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, my dad was the guy everyone loved and praised for his hard work and integrity, but was far from rich.

< p>I inherited my reading DNA from my parents because I grew up with books around me. I also learned from my parents to care about the family and its focus and today, in my 30th year of marriage, I tried to emulate that.

School of life

< p>But I don’t have any commercial or entrepreneurial skills learned from them or how life outside of work works. I didn’t learn how to be a visionary leader, nor did I learn anything about mentoring from them. I had to discover this for myself in the school of life. As much as they loved me, they could only pass on what they knew and lived. I became what I saw. In order for me to become other things, I had to strive for what I wanted. I had to see it differently.

You can’t change a culture that preaches integrity that you can’t see. If you preach teamwork but your behavior encourages silos, there will be no teamwork. If you post professionalism as a value on the wall, but your actions aren’t aligned, no one will heed Scripture.

As humans, we need to understand one basic rule: we become what we see. The tragedy of many organizations, and indeed many African countries, is that mediocrity and corruption have been the greatest thing some leaders have had to show and are simply reproducing themselves. Barring anything dramatic, we remain on the very edge of mediocre corrupt states because a younger generation becomes what they see.

This is a call for new role models. As long as the good ones continue to hide and do their good deeds behind closed doors, it opens the floodgates to more of what we have – where the corrupt become role models for future generations. If that’s the reality, the future doesn’t look too bright.

Wale Akinyemi is Street University Convenor (www.thestreetuniversity.com) and Chief Transformation Officer, PowerTalks; [emailprotected]