How to Measure Culture and Effective Leadership in a Non-Profit

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After speaking at a conference about how to choose core values, a CEO approached me expressing concern that they were just espousing values in their organization and not really living them. Furthermore, the leader felt like they didn’t really know their people or the current state of their culture. To help him we used the Culture Values Assessment developed by the Barrett Values Centre to measure their culture. Each person selected their top ten personal values, the ten values they saw being lived in the organization and the ten values they would like for everyone in the organization to be living. The results showed that 28% of the values in their current culture were potentially limiting. Among the potentially limiting values was the value of control, and after doing an exercise the management team determined that control was costing one group 99% of engagement.

Upon discovering the high cost of “Control” in the culture, we next conducted Leadership Values Assessments from the Barrett Values Centre for the top three leaders to help pinpoint the sources of this value. It turned out that two of the three leaders were seen by their assessors as controlling and micromanaging. As a result, we developed action plans with the two leaders to identify the behaviors that others experienced as controlling, the underlying motivations for them, and workable solutions to transfer true responsibility and ownership to others. One of the leaders was able to put structures in place around letting go of control to become empowering and one wasn’t. The one that wasn’t was then put back into a management position where this person had been previously excelling.

The third leader had the highest level of effectiveness and was not always able to trust their ability enough to step up and lead. This person needed to work on self-confidence and so the action plan centered on how to have a voice to step up to the plate which enabled this leader to grow their leadership effectiveness and do their part on the executive team.

In addition to working with the leaders, we also worked with a Core Values Champion Team. The team selected new organizational core values from the desired culture values indicated in the culture values assessment, defined them, and determined specific behaviors to exemplify them. The end result was the team members reported a higher level of heart — higher empowerment, fulfillment and employee engagement.

Feel free to contact me for more details about how you can measure your organizational heart and leadership effectiveness.

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