Values are shaped by a mixture of beliefs, assumptions, and lived experience. Our true values and our beliefs may be different that the ones we say. Our true values sit in the core of who we are and permeate eery aspect of our lives; they show up whether we want them to or not. They are in the hub of the wagon wheel, with the spokes being the different parts of our lives.
Our values are not fixed; they evolve throughout our lives. They are not right or wrong nor do they need to be ‘proven’. They are a reflection of our true selves in all its glory.
This is true of individuals and organisations. We all know organisations with clearly stated, hanging on the wall values, which collectively behaves in ways that are directly opposite to the values stated. When we experience behaviour in ourselves or organisations that feels disjointed or ‘jarring’ in relation to the stated values, it’s a signal to explore more as it is likely the stated values are no longer aligned with the true values. Something has shifted.
Our true values can be scary as they require us to know ourselves and ‘own’ pieces of ourselves we may not want to admit. The paradox is that it is only in ‘owning’ them that they can change.
Values, like culture, rarely change overnight. They change through experiences, conversations, modelling, and stories consistently telling a slightly different story. Drip by drip by drip by drip.