Deploy an anonymous electronic reporting system solution that enables middle management to report the enacted values of senior leadership (upper echelon) to the governance level thereby making senior leadership accountable to the board for value congruence in the organisation.
Value congruence in the organisation is sometimes left to chance, leading to senior leadership not enacting the values of the organisation and value incongruence impacting negatively on the organisation's wellbeing and performance, especially in the spheres of:
- Organisational culture,
- Ability to change,
- Organisational performance,
- Leadership efficiency, and
- Organisational communication.
In the wake of what Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company, calls the “Great Recession”, he urges organisational leaders to forge more strategic partnerships with their boards to prevent failures in governance (Barton, 2011).
This forging process must be fuelled by senior leadership taking accountability for value congruence in the organisation and implementing the following recommendations in the deployment of an anonymous electronic reporting system solution that allows the reporting of senior leadership values to the governance level:
- Defining values that are specific enough to guide decision maker behaviour through critical incidents or events and appropriate with the strategy of the organisation (Jaakson, Reino, & Vadi, 2008; Williams, 2011).
- Implementing a senior leadership coaching program with multiple sessions over a period of several months (Baron, & Morin, 2010) to direct the deployment of a congruent value system in the organisation.
- Integrating values with all human resource management activities, from recruitment and selection through socialisation and maintenance (Ingelsson, Eriksson, & Lilja, 2012).
- Developing and implementing the electronic reporting system solution that allows the anonymous reporting of enacted senior leadership values to the governance level.
- Ensuring powerful senior leadership learning opportunities from intense experiences (Thomas, Jules, & Light, 2012) from governance interventions as a result of senior leadership value incongruence in the organisation.
Senior leadership has significant responsibility for value congruence in the organisation. Their first responsibility is to define and implement the organisation’s espoused value system (Branson, 2008; Grojean, Resick, Dickson, & Smith, 2004; Ingelsson, et al., 2012; van Quaquebeke, Zenker, & Eckloff, 2009) and the second to be held accountable for the enacted values of the organisation (Grojean et al., 2004; Howell, Kirk-Brown, & Cooper, 2011; Hultman, 2005). The importance of enacted values in the organisation is summarised by Solomon (1999)(cited in Jaakson et al., 2008, p. 12): “what everyone says is not merely as important as what everyone does”, a statement that demands the attention and action of senior leadership in creating value congruence.
Value congruence will deliver the following benefits for the organisation in its entirety:
- Improved organisational culture impacting on the behaviour of “every individual in the organisation” (Branson, 2008, p.380)(Grojean, et al., 2004; Hoffman, Bynum, Piccolo, & Sutton, 2011; Howell, et al., 2011; Ingelsson, et al., 2012).
- Improved organisational ability to change with value congruence as the “bedrock of successful organisational change” (Branson, 2008, p.377)(Burnes & Jackson, 2011).
- Improved organisational performance and survival (Branson, 2008; Gregory, Harris, Armenakis, & Shook, 2009; Howell et al., 2011; van Quaquebeke, et al., 2009).
- Improved leadership efficiency resulting in “less need for overt management and control” (Branson, 2008, p.381)(Hoffman et al., 2008; McDonald, 2000).
- Improved organisational communication by reducing mixed messages that can leave “organizational members confused about their roles and disillusioned with their organisations” (Hoffman, et al., p. 791)(von Groddeck, 2011).
- Align the values of the change initiative with the organisational value system.
- Develop the electronic reporting system solution.
- Communicate the need for change and the context of the change.
- Communicate again!
- Deploy the electronic reporting system in the organisation.
- Communicate again!
- Grow as a learning organisation.
- Communicate again, and again, and again...
The inspiration of Dr. Bernie Frey and the 2012 Massey University Executive MBA Auckland Cohort.