Day: March 13, 2017

The “Risk” of Values

At the National Trust, we begin each executive team meeting with an example of our values in action. Discussing how our colleagues have exemplified our values of integrity, collaboration, diversity, and innovation – all focused on making a difference – is often my favorite part of the meeting. National Trust Trustee emeritus Ken Woodcock was a consistent proponent of the importance of organizational values, an approach that came from his years at the energy company AES.  At Ken’s urging, I read Joy at Work by the highly unconventional AES co-founder and CEO Dennis Bakke, who spoke eloquently about the importance of values.  In one especially telling example, Bakke quoted from the company’s public-offering memo, which read in part: “An important element of AES is its commitment to four major “shared” values:  to act with integrity, to be fair, to have fun, and to be socially responsible….AES believes that earning a fair profit is an important result of providing a quality product to its customers.  However, if the Company perceives a conflict between these values and …