Values-driven Decision Making

Change takes many forms. You can grow or shrink. You can give or take. You can fight or flee. You can accept or reject. You can attract or repel. You can be honest or lie. You can feed or starve. You can keep trying or give up. You can engage or resist. You can take a risk or play it safe. Each choice unfolds into a different future. What’s the role of your values?

Even the choice not to change alters the landscape as the world keeps moving forward while you endeavor to stay the same. It’s like swimming against the current. Resisting change consumes more energy than going with the flow. Change is easier when decisions are anchored in core values.

Consider a checklist of value statements as a filter for your choices.

Equality (Treat all people with respect, integrity and dignity)

  • Will my decision be considerate to everyone affected?
  • Have I anticipated the needs of all stakeholders?

Compassion (Unselfishly embrace the whole person)

  • Have I been sensitive to the needs of those impacted by my choices?
  • Have I set aside my bias and considered perspectives other than my own?

Excellence (Improve outcomes, quality, innovation & openness to new ideas)

  • Have I considered the benchmarks and best practices of my peers?
  • Do my choices advance the organization’s mission, values, and vision?

Partnership (Collaborate to utilize the talent and creativity of all persons)

  • Have I communicated with all parties influenced by my decision?
  • Does my choice strengthen or weaken the teams with whom I partner?

Stewardship (Own responsibility and accountability for all that we are, have, and do)

  • Have I followed through with all commitments?
  • Does my decision add or subtract from the team’s resources?

Ambivalence gets resolved by values. When a decision reflects the heart of the team, it’s more likely to be met with support. Fear dissipates. Differences become strengths. Trust is solidified. Obstacles turn into problem-solving challenges. Collaboration is rewarded. Resilience fuels the system. The team evolves.