Values Trump Rules
November 19, 2013
The last two postings, which were about rules and rule-making, have quoted from how: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything by Dov Seidman. The book deserves at least this additional commentary.
Mr. Seidman posits that in the modern world of hyperconnectivity and transparency (which he describes in detail), there is no such thing as “private” behavior. It’s all public and, therefore, how we do things is more important than what we do.
He states that to stand out in a positive way, an enterprise must “outbehave” the competition. And he says, such behaviors do not follow rules, they flow from values.
This means, according to Seidman, that effective leadership in this environment will be less about coercion (rules) and more about inspiration (values). Leaders will spend less time talking about the carrots and sticks of managing people, and more time focusing on “values and missions worthy of their commitment.”
It’s a shift from “task-based jobs” to “values-based missions;” a transformation from “command and control” to “connect and collaborate” leadership. “It’s a move from exerting power over people to generating waves through them.”
Instead of talking about organizations that are too big to fail, Seidman says we will have organizations “that are too sustainable to fail, too principled to fail, and too good to fail.”