In the article, Make Your Values Mean Something, management expert Patrick Lencioni says: “Values can set a company apart from the competition by clarifying its identity and serving as a rallying point for employees.” However, if your behavior doesn’t align with your espoused values, your work can go astray or worse – you can loose the trust and confidence of your stakeholders.
This summer, as part of ACT’s strategic planning process, we set out to define our values. We began with conversations with stakeholders about what they appreciate the most about ACT’s work and role in the community. We collected insights about ACT’s success, the ways in which we are unique and what’s important in terms of building strong working relationships. These reflections from Alexandria nonprofit leaders, donors and other civic leaders became a window into our values. They helped us see how ACT “shows up” in the community.
After deliberations among the board and with input from the strategic planning committee, we’ve drafted the following values:
The following values guide our work:
- Collective insights (Learning): We listen to and learn from others. Their perspectives help us better understand our community, identify opportunities and learn how we can do our work better.
- Meaningful connections (Connectedness): We are connectors and bridge builders, assisting people and organizations behind the scenes so that they can achieve important goals. We facilitate unified action and celebrate joint achievement.
- Practical optimism (Optimism): Given the richness of our community, we see extraordinary possibilities and are undaunted by the size of a challenge. At the same time, we know that every small step forward is important and can yield big results.
- Respect for all (Respect): Our work is driven by our respect for the unique strengths, experiences and diversity of the people of Alexandria. We work with our partners to ensure justice, empathy and opportunity for all Alexandrians.
- Considerate intentions (Intentionality): We are driven to ensure that Alexandria is a vibrant place for all. Some measures of success are easily quantified, but we also rely upon qualitative measures, particularly the experiences and stories of the people with whom we work.
In the months to come we will refine and sharpen these statements. They will guide how we operate and engage, and they will shape our culture.
Do you see the values above reflected in our work? Let us know what you think! Reach out to heather.peeler@
actforalexandria.org with your comments.
By Heather Peeler, President & CEO