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Your old company values are killing the culture you really want

If you are taking the time to read this, it probably means that your company's values are dead.

(If you are ready to reshape the culture in your organisation, email richard@twentyoneleadership with CULTURE in the subject.)

If you are lucky, they are on life support. They are resuscitable but require acute attention.

Whether you walk into your office every day or sign in online to work from home, you will pass those company values at some point.

They've probably been posted or hung in the same place for several years.

Some of the words still resonate, but most probably don't.

Whether you were heavily involved in creating them or not, the chances are that these values now mean very little to the very people they were created for.

They are probably mentioned in the careers section of your company website and show up in the annual report and accounts, but they certainly aren't alive, lived, breathed or modelled.

Ailing values pose a multitude of issues, but the most significant is that they are killing the culture you really want.

As leaders, we can misguidedly think that these values lingering limply in the background are harmless. In reality, you can connect every performance issue and every cultural misunderstanding to these constant reminders to your people that culture doesn't really matter to us.

It is time to accept that your old, ailing past their sell-by date values are killing the culture that you really want.

If all of this resonates, here is your very first vital step.

Tear the values down.

Remove them.

Delete them.

Do not wait until you have shaped your new values. Make a public statement that having values that aren't alive is worse than having none.

Remove every trace.

If you believe that your values are right, but they just need to be revived, then act quickly.

Email me now (, and we will guide you through the process to resuscitate them before it's too late.


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