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World Values Day: Thursday 15 October

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Marking World Values Day on Thursday 15 October we asked our CEO, Elizabeth to explain how we have embraced values, and evolved as a values-led organisation.

“We could put them up and show them off and hope for the best but after all that work it wouldn’t have been good enough.”

A couple of years ago we worked with Jackie LeFevre (Magma Effect) on a consultative process using Minessance Values Framework, to identify our specific Manchester Mind values. We had known that from its inception 30 years ago the charity had strong values but it would have been difficult to clearly identify and talk about them. Working with Jackie felt like the right next step.

Through the process of consultation we identified both our beliefs and values. So what to do next? We could put them up and show them off and hope for the best but after all that work it wouldn’t have been good enough.

So we started to try to implement values-led reports to board, which just got us in the habit of identifying them and talking about them. Next our recruitment has gradually been led by values, from changing the way we write job adverts and person specifications, to now providing the questions a day or so before interviews – aiming to start that development of kind relationships that lead to feeling accepted and able to contribute – belonging.

It seems to work – people comment that it was the values-led nature of the advert that caught their eye, the communications and yes the questions enable them to connect with the organisation and the panel. Part of the interview is also for the interviewees to think of questions to ask us and that will form part of the process – you really find out who has done some research and has some interest in working with us, not just in the job but wanting to work with us. This has happened over time – it felt like taking a bit of a leap of faith moving a little bit away from just asking about skills and competencies, but we are getting there and it has made a difference.

Talking about our beliefs and values has become a regular occurrence and Jackie has been back to work with us as a team, to problem solve using values as the lens through which to do so. It brings in some rich learning and frees us to think in different ways. It is helpful that we do not just have one word values – all four of them have a definition so it is clear what we mean by them. Embedding them is a process though and if we forget there is always someone to bring it back to the values.

“It isn’t always easy but it is incredibly worthwhile.”

Recently we had our quality audit and the panel reported back that one of the things that had come through very strongly with all the interviews they had conducted was the values – yay! The second thing that they noted was our recruitment process – one that they had not seen before, particularly the questions being sent out. Being clear on our beliefs and values has been important in helping us develop our new strategy and deciding where we focus our attention.  It isn’t always easy but it is incredibly worthwhile.  To the next stage of our journey!

Find out more about why our values have been a guiding us for 30 years.


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