September 21 2023
Growing up in a small town on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana, I was lucky to be surrounded by a strong community, including the consolidated Salish and Kootenai Native American Tribes. The Tribes’ goal was for their community to succeed by leading with their values. Over the years, the tribal organizations worked to both retain their culture and adapt to the realities of everything that came with non-native cultures. Fundamentally being values-aligned enabled the tribes to develop resources and infrastructure benefitting their community including: social services networks, healthcare, education, their own primary school system and an accredited community college system.
My parents supported tribal growth and success. My dad ran a small-town bank where he ran a values-aligned company and served the entire community, including the tribes.
I learned firsthand that being a values-aligned organization creates the greatest opportunities for a community’s success and shared my insights on this week’s episode of PRGNPresents.
My definition of a values-aligned organization is simple, it is an organization that has a clear mission statement centered on benefiting people now and in the future. Values-aligned is more than outcomes. It is the strategy of the organization, the policies (both internal and external) and the execution.
It’s not hard to find recent examples of how ignoring values in business can lead to collapsing communities. During Silicon Valley’s dot-com boom 25 years ago, thousands of start-ups built businesses with the intent of hitting revenue targets, selling and cashing in. That’s not values-aligned. They didn’t have a long-term vision. Without a foundation of being values-aligned, it all fell apart: “dot-bomb.”
Being values-aligned helps find and nurture successful relationships with both clients and employees. As PR professionals, we guide our clients to support their mission through storytelling. We know we have a good client/agency fit when a prospect has demonstrated and expresses their goals in terms of helping people and benefiting the community.
Parallel to that, smart and engaged employees want to work for organizations they believe in.
That’s evidenced in many ways – everything from work-life balance to program execution. When values of employees and their employer are aligned, the work produced is superior, and the work culture is supportive of employees and clients.
Being values-aligned isn’t ever a perfect state, it is an evolutionary process that requires constant effort. Those efforts are recognized and that help differentiate your brand. It’s an iterative process – and when things don’t quite go the way you would like it to, and you learn from that and apply that learning to doing things differently and improving, you’re growing your business in more ways than one.
If you enjoyed this episode, please follow the PRGN Presents podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or any other podcast app. We publish new episodes every other Thursday. To have them delivered automatically and free of charge, just choose your preferred podcast player from this list, open the app, and click the button to “Follow” or “Subscribe” to the show: https://prgnpodcast.com/listen