Value Your Month to Value Your Life
When people ask me, “What’s the best way to start ‘managing with Aloha’ in everyday practice?” I always recommend that they commit to some kind of value of the month program. You can do it on your own, you can do it with an accountability partner or in a team approach (what many in our Ho‘ohana Community refer to as their ‘grassroots Aloha’) or you can do it organizationally in workplace culture-building.
Working within a value of the month program gives you focus, it gives you habit-building constancy — value alignment gets woven into your normal m.o. versus degrading into occasional practice, aka ‘flavor of the month’ flip-flopping — and it gives you tangible results in seemingly small, but meaningful ways, as those results get naturally connected to the seasonality of your working progressions. When you include an accountability partner, or choose the team or organizational approaches, you simultaneously improve your key partnerships as well, boosting your relationship-building with values-based collaboration.
Be honest about which of these 3 approaches will work best for you (individual, team, or whole-organization).
I’m always a fan of partnering and all-in culture-building, however don’t underestimate the individual approach, especially if you’ve never explored your values in any in-depth way before. Wanting to work on your personal values first is our human nature, and it always proves to be a very good thing: Taken altogether, your values are your personal brand. They define your reputation. Recommended reading in the archives:
Steady your foundations. My Ho‘ohanohano advice for Alaka‘i Managers continues to play on repeat: Do good for yourself first, then do that good for others once you have your personal credibility to stand tall on.
I’ve written a short ebook on the specifics of a value of the month program (Value Your Month to Value Your Life), and in the past we’ve focused on the systematic immersion of a one-value-per-month approach. Currently however, we’ve changed it up in our Managing with Aloha evolution, and I’ve invited you to join me here in my two-at-a-time practice, where each value gets our focus for a full four months immersion.
Here is the calendar that will take us into the 1st half of 2015:
September – October 2014: Kuleana (responsibility) and ‘Ike loa (learning)
November – December 2014: ‘Ike loa (learning) and Ha‘aha‘a (humility)
January – February 2015: Ha‘aha‘a (humility) and Ho‘ohanohano (dignity)
March – April 2015: Ho‘ohanohano (dignity) and Alaka‘i (leadership)
May – June 2015: Alaka‘i (leadership) and Mālama (caring)
Values-based practices are exceptionally adaptable: Weave your Managing with Aloha sensibilities into life, and into work as they happen for you.
I’ve been working through this ‘two-at-a-time practice / four months immersion’ for 21 months now, ever since my 1st column for Ke Ola magazine in January of 2013: Why Values? And Why “Manage with Aloha?”
I started on my own first, and then introduced the strategy to my team of partnerships connected to my business, Say Leadership Coaching — we systematically value-align with the 9 Key Concepts by the time each value’s 4-month immersion has been completed: The 9 Key Concepts — Why these 9?
Connective Windows, and Strength-building Constraints
I’ve begun to suggest these value pairings to client projects as well, because the experience has been too good not to share. In their aggregate, our experiences with value pairings have had two commonalities:
- You get new windows. Working on values in pairs will take you ‘outside the box’ of a single value’s emphasis. You look farther, much as you’ll look to the distance when staring out of a window for the first time. In this view plane, you’re seeing a value’s connection to its new pairing, and your value alignment work begins to focus on those new connections. The clarity which results may surprise you!
- You get useful constraints. The Theory of Constraints says that every system, no matter how well it performs, has at least one constraint that limits its performance – this is the system’s ‘weakest link.’ Practitioners use the theory by identifying a constraint and changing the way that they work so they can overcome it. In a value pairing, we leverage constraints in the more positive way of strength management — we work on strongest links and we strengthen them. Those strong links? Our other values.
For example, think about the possibilities in pairing Ha‘aha‘a, the value of humility, with Pono, the value of rightness and balance. Humility softens righteousness with self-coaching, and puts its contexts in better perspective, helping people arrive at the rightness and balance of Pono with a Ho‘ohanohano demeanor.
So are you ready to change it up with me, and with others in our Ho‘ohana Community?
Wonderful! I shall give you a few days before I post again so you can revisit the language of intention of our vocabulary (see the postscript below), and bookmark anything you wish to keep reference handy to in the archives (the other links I have added within this post for you). As you do so, start to keep our values for September and October in mind for some early experience with the positive constraints they can be…
1. Kuleana Essay for Ke Ola, and 2. ‘Ike loa
Mahalo nui for being here with me!
Here’s a cheatsheet on the values vocabulary I regularly use here at ManagingWithAloha.com.
1. VALUE ALIGNMENT
Frames the key objective — To align the actual behaviors of a workplace culture with the values we say we believe in from an intellectual and convicted point of view: We believe in this deeply, and therefore, this is what we consistently do, or aspire to do.
2. VALUE MAPPING
Names the process [of VALUE ALIGNMENT] — We map out how we intend to achieve our objective, much in the same way we map out objectives like mission and vision, and all our strategic initiatives.
3. VALUE VERBING
Puts the process of VALUE MAPPING into the everyday language of workplace culture. We put value mapping intentions into executable actions with highly active, next-action verbs.
4. VALUE IMMERSION
IMMERSION means to go ‘all in.’ When you choose a value for your workplace culture, you align it completely — in everything you do. When confronting change, you realign and audit your value integrity in every strategic juncture.
5. VALUE STEERING
Refers to projects, pilot programs, and experimental initiatives. A value or pairing of values will be chosen to steer a project as primary value/conviction criteria: It is a value which encapsulates the over-riding WHY a project is taken on to begin with.
If you have not yet seen it, this posting will give you a good introduction to our ‘Language of We’ and recommends a valuable page to bookmark (different from the Glossary):
Managing with Aloha’s Lexicon Morphology