The sudden collapse of Enron more than 20 years ago was one of the biggest corporate scandals of this century: A facade of consistent business success hid an empire of fraud, greed and arrogance.
Interestingly enough, integrity was a key Enron company value.
The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. In other words: You have a clear and transparent set of principles.
A respected Fortune 500 company may have a track record of impeccable integrity. So do Enron, the mafia and the infamous Star Wars Sith Lords.
Adhering to a set of principles makes you consistent, but doesn’t necessarily make you a force for good.
Unless corporate values can be translated into behavioral distinctions, they may be ambiguous to drive effective action.
Building a high-performance culture therefore starts with translating ambiguous values into powerful behavioral distinctions.
- Stimulating ownership or stimulating victimhood?
- Creating perspective or creating drama?
- Playing to win or playing not to lose?
- Serving or pleasing?
- Adding value or taking up space?
- Focus on evidence or focus on anecdotes?
- Being effective or being right?
- In love with your clients or in love with your products and processes?
- Bold or busy?
- Focused on success or focused on perfection?
- Leaving a legacy or leaving a trail?
Which of these behavioral distinctions are most relevant for your organization?