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Implementation Tips

These "tips" provide practical suggested actions to help translate the Values from broad, conceptual statements into visible indicators of a strong company culture.

A wide variety of observable behaviors and reflection questions are provided for your consideration.  Review the tips, then select several suggestions that you feel could help your employees understand and more effectively exhibit the Values in their day-to-day roles.  Periodically revisit the list of tips to try out new suggestions.

Respect for People

  • Demonstrate respect by developing our people and helping them set and achieve high performance standard

    • Identify one example of successful performance and one example of less-than-successful performance that you have experienced at work in the last two years.  Write down what you learned from each situation.  Identify opportunities where you can encourage this kind of reflection and learning amongst your employees.

    • Look for patterns in your feedback to individuals in your group/team.  Are you providing feedback equally to all individuals?  Is the ratio of positive and negative feedback appropriate?

    • Help others learn from mistakes.

    • Recognize development efforts, not just results.

    • Identify stretch objectives and support your direct report’s opportunity to achieve them.


Reward performance

  • Provide rewards to recognize and drive performance​
    • Give positive recognition to people immediately.
    • Ensure that you differentially reward the best performers.
    • Make clear what/how performance will be rewarded and follow through.
    • Consider a variety of rewards: monetary, promotions, increased autonomy, increased responsibility, visibility, etc.


Respect diversity

  • When working with a diverse group, explore your understanding of the group by asking yourself the following questions:
    • What do I know of the individuals’ attitudes, needs and perspectives?
    • What are some of the key differences between myself and the others in this group?
    • What impact might my words, actions, and beliefs have on this group?
    • What have I done to adjust my behavior relative to the group?
    • What reaction can I expect from them when I raise an issue or present a topic?
  • If you cannot answer these questions, create a plan for how to work with the group to uncover the answers and act on the responses.


Treat all people with dignity

  • Openly discuss work-related ethical dilemmas and issues.
  • Use your direct reports as advisors in areas where they have expertise.
  • Don’t put your direct reports in situations where they will be uncomfortable, without sound rationale and support.
  • Don’t ask your direct reports to do anything you have not or would not do yourself.



  • Walk the talk

  • Make promises only if you plan to keep them.

  • Ensure that your actions and words are consistent.



  • An effective way to enhance your trust with people is in your communications with them.  To establish and maintain trust with others:
    • Use open, sincere statements to clearly express your personal position.
    • Keep your organization or department as informed as possible versus withholding information.
      • If you cannot share information that is being asked for, be honest and state that it is inappropriate to share the information at this time

    • Think before you speak.

    • Give honest answers to questions and challenges. 


Resist politics

  • Ensure that you are focused on high leverage work, set priorities, then communicate openly and honestly; no game playing.
  • Keep all critical stakeholders informed of your work and project status so that there are no last minute surprises or maneuverings.
  • Strive to share leadership responsibilities with peers for an atmosphere of inclusiveness.
  • When fostering a new idea or concept, ensure that you understand the position of all the critical players.  Discuss their ideas, pros, cons, etc. and formulate a plan to handle any anticipated issues.  When presenting ideas, recognize the positions of others and acknowledge your attempts at accommodating them.  Openly solicit feedback.


Sense of Urgency

  • Strive for speed and simplicity in everything we do

    • Look for simple ways of  accomplishing the tasks

    • Look for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary reviews and/or approvals.

    • Focus on the “critical path,” and ensure that the necessary resources are provided and potential obstacles removed.

  • Fight bureaucracy

    • Effectively pursue the most efficient means to achieve the end results.
    • Look for activities that seem circular and require multiple approvals or which detract from obtaining the desired outcome.  Openly challenge processes that do not seem necessary (avoid “process for process’s sake”).
  • Focus on delivery
    • Bring together a group to work on ways for solving chronic problems your group or your groups’ customers have faced.  If possible and appropriate, involve the customer or end-user.
    • Brainstorm different ways to achieve the desired results.  Look at new ways to utilize resources or engage different resources.  Go for quantity of ideas.  Encourage people to build on others’ ideas.  Then, select a few ideas to develop further and implement.  Don’t go for ideas that can’t be delivered upon.
    • Create a plan for achieving the results.  Document resources needed for successful completion of activities.  What resources are needed?  For what activities?  By when?  Who and what are the best internal/external resources?  What is the cost versus the benefit?  What are the options?  What are the specific goals and measurements? 
    • Push back on seemingly needless process and activities; stay focused on results.



  • Reach out beyond boundaries to share information and ideas

    • Actively seek out and get to know managers and contributors below your own level.  Solicit and share information and ideas regarding the day-to-day operations.

    • Identify and leverage others who could benefit from your knowledge, at all levels in the organization.

    • Look for opportunities to work on cross-functional activities to break down functional silos.  Use your team as a learning environment, while sharing your own ideas with the members.  Understand and leverage the whole value chain.

    • Join associations outside the company in order to meet colleagues with similar professional interests.

  • Promote collaboration and break down silos

    • When confronted with challenging situations where there appears to be an impasse, ask yourself, "What would it take to satisfy this person?"
    • Identify an opportunity to form a mutually beneficial strategic alliance with another person from outside of your function.
    • Participate on a cross-functional project team with a complex issue that will expose you to new systems and methods.
  • Positive networking requires courage, discipline, and integrity, and refuses to engage in political “workarounds” at the cost of transparency
    • Develop a networking plan and framework.  List people you want to get to know, what you hope to learn from them, and what you have to offer/share.  Create an action plan to ensure you meet them.
    • Find someone you would like to have coach you.  Ask them to help you strengthen you network and introduce you to people you could learn from
    • Provide coaching to others whom you can help learn and strengthen their network.



  • Restlessness with the status quo

    • Find a non-critical situation and test an innovative idea.  Create a team and plan for implementing the idea.  Test the plan with a group of subject matter experts.  Get agreement for implementation including timing and resources.  Implement the plan, gathering input at key milestones.  Help to support and encourage the team implementing the plan. 

    • Identify one risk you are afraid to take.  Carefully analyze its potential benefits and negative consequences.  Figure out what you would do if the worst-case scenario occurred.  Then re-evaluate whether you can take the risk.

  • Think out of the box

    • Challenge yourself to try new approaches.  If you quickly find a solution or approach to a situation or problem, stop and ask yourself if you have considered alternative approaches.

    • Make a list of all options for action.  Carefully consider the one most unlike your typical behavior.  Try it out and make note of the results.  Don’t be afraid to try the process again, even if you are uncomfortable with the new behaviors.

    • Work with someone who has a very different background or style of work to brainstorm possibilities for solving a particular problem.  Look for new ideas and thoughts you haven’t used before.

    • Read a book by an author you’ve never read before on a topic/perspective you don’t fully understand and/or agree with.  Look for new thoughts, ideas, and applications to your work that you’ve not previously used.

  • Seek out and adapt best practices

    • Keep a list of new ideas, processes, and products you encounter, whether they are related to your job or not.  Write down ideas as they occur to you, even if you are in the middle of another task.  Refer to this list at least once a month.  Ask yourself, “If I act on these ideas could it potentially lead to greater results?”

    • Join professional organizations and read professional publications.  Concentrate on learning how to apply ideas and concepts to your own organization.

    • Study publications such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal to stay abreast of market trends and to learn what other businesses are doing to succeed.  Look for ways to include these concepts in your approach to strategies.

  • Extend to all areas of work

    • Ensure that any new ideas or work approaches are shared with colleagues.  Sponsor an idea-sharing lunch session or similar forum to communicate new ideas.  Make a conscious effort to ensure that you share innovative practices.

    • Create a regular forum for discussion across business units, such as a “community of interest” on a special topic.  Allow for open dialogue and brainstorming of different ideas and successes.  Create ways to share this information even further throughout the organization such as newsletters, e-mails, etc.

    • Mentor someone outside your business unit.  Share your own knowledge and learn from his/her background and perspective.

    • Find informal ways to spend time with colleagues and to discuss your work as well as their theirs.  Make time in your regular schedule to share breakfast, lunch, break time, etc. with others to discuss new ideas.



  • Achieve through powerful missions and transparent processes

    • Understand what is required, and be willing to achieve results through open and honest conversation

    • Ensure that people understand the mission and purpose and how they make decisions in that context

  • Encourage and reward self-confidence and initiative

    • Find ways to publicly encourage and reward “can do,” “what if,” and “how can we” attitudes and behaviors rather than “why it won’t work” thinking.  Challenge nay-sayers by asking, “How can we make it work?” 

    • Make sure you have made it safe for people to take risks, try new things, and break the status quo.  Express your confidence in others when they are frustrated or ready to give up.  Help them identify and overcome barriers to success.

    • Encourage people to share how they overcame limits to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  Reward successes.  Make successes visible.

    • Identify individuals in the organization who models openness and self-confidence.  Encourage others to seek appropriate opportunities to observe these individuals in interactions with others.  Jot down behaviors that indicate these individuals are receptive to alternative viewpoints.  Also observe and take notes on the behaviors that indicate these individuals are self-confident without being arrogant.  After the interaction, spend time with these individuals to learn more about how they acquired and maintain those skills and demeanor.

  • Require accountability

    • Ensure that direct reports clearly understand expectations, deadlines, outcomes, process, etc.  Do not take for granted that they view the results the same way that you do.  Ask questions, ensure understanding, and let them proceed.

    • Create a follow-up file to check on assignments at specific times.

    • Don’t let deadlines pass unnoticed.

    • If deadlines are missed or outcomes are not up to expectations, work with the employee to correct the problem(s).  Don’t fix it yourself.

    • Keep commitments you make to others and hold peers and colleagues to the same standards.



  • Invite open and challenging discussion up-front

    • Demonstrate openness in all interactions.  To model this, practice inquiry skills by working with a partner on the following activity.  Ask your partner to think of an issue he or she feels strongly about, and ask the person to spend a few minutes describing their position.  Without divulging your own thoughts on the position, spend several minutes asking clarifying questions about the person's position, and the experiences that caused the person to arrive at that position.  Learning to actively listen while seeking to understand will encourage “challenge” in others.

    • When opinions conflict, use this to strengthen the relationships by more fully understanding the nature of the conflict.

    • Allow plenty of time for all discussion on an issue.  Do not prematurely cut off debate with other constraints

  • Face reality, make timely difficult decisions, and follow-through on them

    • Take a stand when it is important to you and the organization.  When asserting your position, do not use tentative language like, “I might...” or  “Maybe that is the best way…” Choose firm language instead.

    • Work to be viewed as persistent with problems.  Do not make one or two attempts and give up; if it is important, keep at it.

    • Unless new information arises, don’t reopen a decision once made, focus on implementation.

  • Set demanding targets and standards for ourselves and others

    • Make sure that everyone understands the mission, Values and strategies, in the context of their contributions.

    • Set stretch targets – seemingly out-of-reach goals designed to encourage growth – individualized to the employee’s role, expectations, and capabilities.

    • Hold one's self to the highest standards and be open if you fall short of a standard.  Openly work to meet and/or beat the standard.  Do not hide from mistakes.

    • Have on-going conversations about targets and progress toward meeting them.

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