Finding the Hidden Value in Team Members: The Values of Sustainable Companies Series

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night day treeSustainable organizations know that all members of a team have something valuable to offer. They instill this belief in their culture, and apply it both internally and externally to clients, customers, partners, and vendors. They build their business on good relationships with people, which are based in respect.

As consultants, we often challenge our clients to differentiate between their aspirational values and beliefs and their actual values and beliefs: we instruct them to place their aspirational values in the category of vision; their actual values then remain as the things they do so naturally that they are assumed – and yet, still somehow distinct from others in the marketplace.

Believing that all members of a team have something valuable to offer is aspirational for many organizations. And those who believe it, but who don’t consistently live it out, find that they let value they already have go to waste. This waste weakens their company and is often symptomatic of other structural challenges in the organization, as well as mindsets and habits that are not sustainable in the long run.

Like an un-booked hotel room on a night when every other spot in town is sold out, missing team members’ value stands as the opportunity of a lifetime in the evening, or a foolishly missed opportunity in the morning. It certainly matters what time it is.

In the clear light of morning, we see that there are two ways we miss out on our team’s value – or, in serious cases, actually devalue our team: Structural Misses and Personal Misses.

pipe duct tapeStructural Misses

Structural Misses are those ways our business is designed that create value gaps. Here are four examples:

baseball swing and missPersonal Misses

Personal Misses are how we miss the value of members of the team through our personal outlook. Here are four examples.

Changing the Time

Returning to our un-booked room analogy, we see three ways that we can change the time from the missed opportunity of morning to the ready opportunity of evening.

The Value of Opportunity

The people we already work with have value that we have not tapped into. Can we structure our work, our relationships, and our approach to others in a way that helps them (and later us) to tap into that and experience the benefits of the value they already have?

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