Believe in Value(s) but Create Value

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at the Mayor's Wellness Council of Louisville.  It was quite meaningful to me personally, because my beloved Grandmother, m Mom-Mom was a Kentucky girl through and through, so the opportunity to spend time in this community gave me an opportunity to honor her legacy in my life, as well as consider how her values and influences have impacted my work.

Almost weekly something shows up related to value(s) as it relates to corporate partnerships.  While I'm encouraged to see that our communities are beginning to discuss the importance of beliefs and alignment in our work, I think it's time that we more clearly differentiate the difference between shared value(s) and shared value.  

  • Shared value(s) might mean you and I share the same views or beliefs based on our personal experiences of the world. But shared value means you and I can co-create something significant together despite (and perhaps due to) our unique experiences.

  • Shared value(s) may mean that you and I believe in the same God, the same requirements to living a devout life, or the same gifts that come with a religious ideology. Shared value means that you and I can live peacefully and build a vibrant, thriving community with opportunities for fulfillment regardless of our religious perspectives.

  • Shared value(s) could mean that you and I share a similar political ideology about the role and benefits of governments. Shared value means that we leverage diversity and work together to find a solution that benefits our greater society, regardless of which side of the aisle we sit on.

In fact, I believe that organizational values are a critical component of building healthy organizations that bring diverse groups of people together to build something bigger than themselves.  

However, when we risk not partnering with an organization who is aligned with our strategic objectives simply because we have different values, we risk missing an opportunity to unify our communities in measurable ways much more effectively than building on a belief structure. 

What beliefs are you holding firmly to? What are you creating with those beliefs?