We talked about productivity hacking last time. What managers who adopt Managing with Aloha basically do, is behavior hacking: We hack to gain Aloha-informed behaviors.
For programmers who hack, the target is computer code, and unfortunately, some nefarious types within their ranks have brought sinister and illegal intentions to the practice.
However, hacking is simply to work on something in a highly focused way, knowing you can affect or control it, and usually for the better.
For instance, the popular Lifehacker site offers “Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done.”
For organizational folk who hack, the target is productivity.
For minimalists who hack, the target is clutter.
For jet-setters who hack, the target is travel.
For Alaka‘i Managers, the target is behavior. We hack with values, value-centering, and value-driven habits.
Behavior hacking has a rough edge to it, and sounds borderline rude and intrusive; unwanted. So we call it value alignment instead, and there is nothing rude or intrusive about it! It’s good management.
As explained in our 9 Key Concepts:
Key 3. VALUE ALIGNMENT:
Work with integrity by working true to your values, for your values will drive your best, and most desirable behaviors. Focus all efforts on the right mission and the right vision (yours!) for it honors your sense of self and brings compelling pictures of the future within your reach, making them your probable legacy. Whether for a business partnership or specific team, deliberate value-alignment creates a healthy organizational culture for everyone involved: When we want to collaborate and co-create, shared values equip and energize us.
Related reading: Ethos: Be true to your values.
The core intention of Key 3 as one of the constructs of Managing with Aloha, is to have the manager deliberately choose their values, whether personally, professionally, or organizationally. Then, we fully explore those choices with the objective of making those values Practical; Useful; Relevant; and therefore, Instructional to our managerial style.
More specifically, we want our value choices to inform our decision-making.
We want our values to equip us, by driving our behaviors in intentional ways.
In short, we want our values to hack us, shaping us into better human beings.
To employ Value Alignment, Alaka‘i Managers question the probable outcome of every decision.
The 19 Values of Aloha are those I present to you as informed choices, rooted in Aloha yet universal in practicing the art of management. Which of those values do you choose, and when?
Understanding the outcomes of those values works in reverse as well: When you see a certain behavior in play, are you aware of which value has caused that behavior to happen?
Questioning values needs to be a constant thread in the decision-making of all Alaka‘i Managers. We question, to bring to alignment. We constantly ask ourselves,
— What is the follow-up behavior we want to see emerge?
— What value-driver does this relate to?
We ask ourselves those questions about virtually e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
Here’s the m.o:
Alaka‘i Managers remain engaged in a workplace to maintain best practices and question everything else. They question system, process, and behavior as a means of questioning best-possible value alignment. They make better informed decisions as a result, and will then intercept work to redirect it accordingly, so mission and vision are consistently guided by the values chosen to give that mission and vision their Pono integrity.
Alaka‘i Managers ramp it up. They seek better and best.
We might phrase our questioning this way:
— What value-driver do I want to switch existing behaviors to?
For instance, let’s explore the difference between Lōkahi (cooperation, harmony and unity) and Kākou (inclusiveness and the Language of We).
The harmony and unity of Lōkahi will value-equip teamwork, and we aim for a harmony of strength, not complacency. We never want harmony to degrade to auto-pilot or boredom, and we intercept work-in-progress before it ever gets the chance to venture down those slippery slopes —we are mountain climbers, remember?
If you want your team to dig deep into an existing system or process, and brainstorm again to refresh or reinvent it, you want to value-align with Kākou instead.
The behavior hacking is different: Within Kākou inclusiveness, you want to have your team entertain new ideas, discuss and debate them more, so to uncover new possibilities before continuing with their work.
As manager, you take that “pause that refreshes” before you intercept their work: You pause to consider the objectives of mission and vision, and the behaviors which will attain those objectives.
You make your better decisions: You don’t want a repeat of the old way, as satisfactory as it might presently be, because you don’t feel “satisfactory” is good enough anymore. You want a new pilot project to emerge that’s the result of whole-team conversation and robust thinking. You want fresh energies and a higher level of engagement.
You want Kākou to help you refresh Lōkahi.
So, you intercept. You redirect your team to better coach them. You do so, by bringing Kākou back into every conversation connected to the task at hand. Speaking with Aloha becomes a Kākou kind of thing with you, and you Lead with Aloha until that redirection is completed via your team taking the ball and running with it.
Lōkahi never got bad for you, really, however you are assuring that it never will. You’re ramping it up, and in the process, the “cooperation, harmony, and unity” of Lōkahi gets elevated to a higher standard of your team’s strength.
As within our listing of Alaka‘i 24 Affirmations:
10. Champion change. As the saying goes, those who do what they’ve always done, will get what they’ve always gotten. The only things they do get more of are apathy, complacency, and boredom.
You gotta love value alignment.
To adopt Managing with Aloha as your managerial philosophy,
Is to adopt value-centering:
To place the convictions of the values you believe in,
At the very center of all you do, and
To purposely drive all subsequent behaviors from your conviction,
To tailor all new actions to the perfect fit
Of a value’s character and moral compass.
This is behavior hacking at its Aloha-intentioned finest, and if you’re an Alaka‘i Manager, it happens for you every.single.day. You see those happenings as your defining moments as a manager who matters.
I have inserted several links as definitions of phrases and for related reading. If you’ve time for just one more, I recommend this one: Management Style by Habit. You can hack your reputation.