Mastering business analysis: Aligning our behaviour and values

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Jul 22nd, 2012

This is the fourth in the BA master class series of posts, focusing on seven key areas I found helped develop my technique, performance, and delivery.

In this post I share my thinking on how we ensure that our behaviour supports our ability to be effective in our role. In the other posts I look at what it takes to master a discipline, at mastering our purpose, relationships, professional development, models and frameworks, service mindset, and ourselves; and how we develop goal plans and a personal goal map to ensure we do progressively master what we choose to do.

Note: While this post deals with values and behaviours in the workplace, much of the thinking is applicable elsewhere for us too.

Mastering our behaviour

What do we mean when we talk about our behaviour?

In this context, we’re not looking literally at what it means to be ‘well behaved’; rather about our style of behaviour, of leadership, of how we approach the work we do – how we seek to live our values at work – and whether our values are aligned with those of our organisation.

A word about values

Values provide a reference for what is good, important, useful, desirable, etc. – and help resolve conflict by being able to relatively rank our values.

Our organisation’s values

An organisation’s values should be an expression of its culture, of what’s important and what can go when the going gets tough. Often they are a public statement of how they want their staff and customers to feel and behave, and can be seen as an extension of their brand. These days many companies choose simple even provocative statements of value – think about Google’s original value statement – clear and concise.

  • Google: Do no evil (although now they are a little more wordy)
  • CrownFibre Holdings: act with integrity, take a leadership position, respect contribution, be transparent, be collaborative, highly focused.
  • Air New Zealand: honesty, integrity, experience, ideas, courage, sound judgement, common sense.
  • Our own organisations: Can we quote (or even just paraphrase) our own organisations’ value statements?

Questions to consider:

  • If we struggle to recall these, what does that mean? Are they easy to remember?
  • How well does our organisation live these values? What is the culture really like?
  • Do people ignore meetings, act rudely, or deliver late without warnings?
  • What challenges does that create and how can we overcome those challenges?

Our own values

Our own values act a little like an internal moral compass; they help us realise when we’re doing something that is not ‘right’. If we’re acting true to ourselves, then, our behaviour will reflect our values or if we’re working in an environment that is not consistent with our values, we will instinctively fell uneasy about it.

Our values: We should take a moment to note  the 5 most important things we value in our lives right now (in no particular order).

Questions to consider:

  • Are our values aligned with our organisation’s? If not, how do we resolve that?
  • Do all our behaviours align with our values? If not, what can we do about that?

Wrapping up on behaviour

So we’ve looked out how important it is that behaviour reflects values, both within our organisations and within ourselves, and how we will be most effective when our own values are aligned with those of our organisations.

Ultimately, when there is a clash in values, we must stay true to ourselves, even if that means looking for work elsewhere. We must avoid becoming assimilated into the faceless borg.

Walk with me

In this series of BA master class posts, I invite you to share my journey, the steps I have taken to be the best I can be. I am still learning and exploring, and I invite your feedback and discussion so that we can learn from one another.

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