Every organization has a set of values. We all say we stand for something. But do the values you have printed on your wall influence people to make real life decisions everyday?
Anyone in organizational life can learn from how the Springer Theatre Academy aligns their living values with the everyday decisions of their students. Since 1996, they thriving Springer Theatre Academy has brought children into a safe space where they can learn about the theatre. Their value set is very straight forward and clear. They teach “Life Skills Through Stage Skills”. They teach kids to take bold chances, fail and try again. They expressly value the ability for kids to “Be Fearless. Be Creative. And Be Encouraging.” Nothing happens at the Springer Theatre Academy without alignment to these values.
This values transfer works. My kids have learned these values because they have seen them in action at the Springer and in their life. In this episode, I interview my daughter Sarah Beth about how “stage skills became life skills” this summer at the Springer. You will hear her clarity about the Springer Theatre Academy values and see how that transferred into one particularly aligned decision that helped another Springer student.
Take another look at the values of your organization. Are they alive for you and the people the work around you? If you have some question in your mind about the values then you have some work to do. Here are six questions to ask yourself about the values of your organization:
- Do you understand them yourself? (I bet you think you do, but does everyone share the same definition?)
- Do you live them yourself? (I bet you think you do, but can you identify a recent time when you thought about the values first and THEN made a decisions? Or did you make a decisions and then justify it with the values?)
- Do you talk about it with others? (I bet you think you have, but is it a casual mention or is it an intentional process that you make sure happens?)
- How much to do you talk about it? (I bet you think you do it a bunch, but it is probably not enough. People come in and out of organizations all the time. So there is always someone that has never heard it and there are always people that don’t believe it.)
- Do you communicate it well? (I bet you think you do. But a banner on the wall will never communicate the real message. A hand out or an email will never illustrate what it means. Only a person talking to another person can communicate it. The rest of it is just a pale reminder.)
- Are you passionate about the values and agree with them? (If the answer is in any way “No” then why are you pouring your water into that body of water?)
If you want to learn more about the Springer’s values or to get your family involved, please reach out to:
Sally Baker 706-324-1100