5 Mistakes Organizations Make When Implementing Values In The Workplace

1. Push vs. Pull Values

2. Not having a clear Mission & Vision.

  • Direction usually comes from above. The CEO/founder needs to be a visionary and have a clear conviction of where to take the company.
  • This applies to Holacratic or Flat organizations as well. You have to remember, these organizations don’t simply materialize with a full team. It usually begins with a small collective of individuals who consciously decide to adopt this organizational structure, and despite the intention to be completely democratic, there is typically a leader in these early hours that will define the core purpose of the group.
  • As such, it usually stems from an individual. That said, once you rally people around a cause, said cause is subject to evolve as well (though it’s very rare to completely deviate from the original purpose).

3. Having too many Values.

  1. Everything seems important, you don’t want to exclude anything because you fear that by doing so, you encourage behaviours that are counter to that value.
  2. We don’t distinguish between table stakes and core values.
  3. Table stakes: The bare minimum. Depending on your organization, certain values should be implicit requirements that you are aware of, but need to overemphasize — i.e. Trust, Quality etc.
  4. Core values: Unique and distinguishing values that define the key focus of your organization and what you want to prioritize.
  5. We forget that values change over time, and try to capture everything we want to embody — now and in the future.

4. Not integrating Values into every aspect of the business.

  1. Employees
  2. Customers
  3. Investors

5. Wrongly defining Value-Fit

  • Mission fit — do they believe in the same mission/vision?
  • Mindset fit — do they share the same attitudes you look for in an ideal employee? e.g. self-initiating, lifelong learner etc.
  • Work Ethic fit — do they have a shared view of work/life balance?
  • Team fit — would they get along with fellow co-workers?

Minimum diversity of power

Medium diversity in opinion

Maximum diversity in experience/skills

What does doing it wrong look like?

  • Hiring people just for charisma.
  • Hiring people who share the same interest/hobbies as you.
  • Hiring people who share your opinion/agree with you.




Startup go-to-market and sales specialist, father, avid packrafter

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Chang Chin Hing

Chang Chin Hing

Startup go-to-market and sales specialist, father, avid packrafter

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