Last week in my post I talked about how values were not enough to define the culture of your organisation. 

Your culture is shown in the behaviours everybody in the organisation exhibit. It is behaviours and actions that transcend your culture. 

So, you need to define these behaviours then? Right, easier said than done you must think. I agree. To help you a bit, I share in this post 5 ways you can define your organisation behaviours. The first one is not optional. 

Define the meaning of the behaviours first 

Behaviours are very cultural. The same behaviour will have different meanings to different people. Different behaviours will be used by different people to express the same meaning. 

So, before plunging into defining precise behaviours, define first the meaning of what you want to convey with these behaviours. 

For instance, you want to show that you care about your customers. That will be the meaning. Now, how do you translate that in a way that your customers will understand. This is important because you define the behaviours with the recipient of the behaviour in mind. 

Look at your current behaviours 

No need to reinvent the wheel here. There are probably many things you already do right in terms of the behaviours your people exhibit. Gather these and see how you can even improve on them. 

On the other hand, there will be behaviours you are not so proud of. What can you do instead? Then, take these opposite behaviours as part of your new behaviours. Give careful thought as to how you will help people showing these unhelpful behaviours to change and exhibit the behaviours you want to be shown instead. 

Survey your stakeholders 

In the same spirit as assessing your current behaviours, get feedback on what you do well and not so well from your stakeholders. 

Each type of stakeholders will have a different view and different behaviours will matter to them. Ask your customers, your partners, your suppliers, your investors. Cast your net wide. Do not forget to ask people inside the organisation too. 

Look for behaviours in other places and people 

Look around. You do not have to come up with behaviours all on your own, well at least as one organisation. Look at what others in a similar context do. 

What behaviours have you noticed in your own experience that you liked? Ask your people too what behaviours they have encountered that they thought were good. 

Think also of the behaviours you did not like. What was wrong about them? What would you do instead? 

Do you have role models? Do you have people in mind you thought were really good (with colleagues or customers…)? What do they do? What can you learn from them? What behaviours could you copy? 

Go back to your values 

Once you have gathered behaviours using the strategies described above, you can go back to your organisation values. As I explained in last week post, they are good to have. 

As a wrap up for your behaviours, look at your values again and see if there are some extra behaviours you can think of that would make these values real and tangible. 

I do not advise to do this early in the process of finding your behaviours because focusing on values will limit your thinking. If you have used the previous strategies, you will see that some behaviours do not fall under one of your values. It is not because the behaviour is not important and should be discarded. It is just that there is a lot more to behaviours than expressing values. 

If this is an activity you want to go through in your organisation and need help with, just contact me. 

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