Jan 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Walk the talk beyond mere displays of values on walls and letterheads

Reality show Big Brother Naija is probably the biggest show ever aired in Nigeria.

It generates millions of ads because millions of eyeballs are glued to it television sets. The winners receive prize money in the millions. State governments, organizations and individuals also line up to present the winner with extravagant prizes including luxury cars and even houses.

Kudos to the winners, but that says something about the society. What we value shows our values. Let’s turn that around. Students spend years burning the midnight oil, and after tough years, often marked by closures and strikes, they finally graduate. But society gives them unemployment and police brutality.

Broad interpretation

But things are beginning to change. The governor of Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria offered a house, money and scholarship to Joy Oyinlola Adesina, who emerged as the top graduate of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. At least one other governor was reported to have followed suit.

Again, culture always follows values. If we adopt the right values, we will adopt the right culture. This is true on a personal, organizational and even national level.

So many organizations have their values ​​framed on the walls of their offices. These values ​​include things like integrity, professionalism, teamwork, customer focus, innovation, etc. It’s funny that most organizations have literally the same or a few overlapping values. However, the truth is that what transforms an organization is not the values ​​on the wall, but rather the values ​​in the hearts and minds of the performers.

The big question is; “How do we get the values ​​from the wall to the heart?”

It all starts with definitions. A consistent definition is the starting point for a productive culture. Without a unified definition of values, everyone is subject to personal interpretations, which is very dangerous.

It tells the story of a former governor in northern Nigeria who was ousted from office. It is said that $4 million in cash was found at his official residence, but he pleaded innocent in court on all corruption charges, arguing that the government money he was alleged to have stolen was found at Government House, allowing him it couldn’t be held for theft.

It happened to me. I was part of a panel selected by a bank to hire senior executives. Everything was going fine until a cousin of mine walked in. She was so excited and thrown off track and asked about my family in the US.

At this point, I apologize for the conflict of interest. Later, an uncle claimed that my cousin prayed before the interview, and God answered her prayers by planting me there as a courtesy worker. So going out was wrong, and I had to regret and apologize for letting her down.

In conclusion, in the absence of a proper definition, values ​​will be subject to personal interpretation, and This isn’t the team nor is the establishment growing. If anything, it triggers regression, silos, and mediocrity.

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