HRINZ Conference 2005 Working Through Values Working Through Values  

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Day Three – Friday 16 September


C2 Corporate Values

Nick Sceats    

Values Under the Gun

Nick Sceats, Catapult Limited

This is a highly provocative session that challenges many assumptions about how values are created and used. Among these challenges is the proposition that values have lost their currency and credibility. It will suggest that values should be considered as an input into creating something more important – the organisation's way of being. An organisation's way of being is the spirit in which the organisation goes about its business. The opportunity for HR is to use values as an input into creating an organisational spirit best suited to helping the organisation achieve its goals.

The session will challenge the status and application of values. It will do this by challenging:

  • Traditional approaches to developing organisational values
  • The preoccupation with values crafting
  • The ability of linking values to organisational performance
  • Proposing that values are an input into something more important

The session will be interactive in nature. Below is a sample of the proposed content

Current or Aspirational Values?

Should an organisation have only current values or should they also promote and propose values that they believe will advance the organisation's performance?

How Do You Make the Case of Values to the CFO?

Are values too soft to be taken seriously? Values suffer from being considered by many as being soft territory. Using a model and examples we will demonstrate how values can directly impact business performance and results.

Values By All or Values By a Few?

Traditional logic is that values should be developed from and represent the values of the organisation across the board. But should they? Or should they be developed by the leadership team or by star performers? Shouldn't values serve to move the organisation in the direction leaders want? And why should poor and mediocre performers be included in values development?

Beyond Platitudes and Posters

Organisations get fixated on getting the words right. They wordsmith values statements to death and in doing so squeeze the spirit out of them. Energy should be put into driving the values into behaviours.

Are Values Past Their Used By Date?

We will propose that values are past their used by date – that they lack currency and credibility with senior management. We will propose that while values have a role, the focus on values is at the expense of something more important – an organisation's way of being. An organisation's way of being is the spirit in which the organisation goes about its business and deals with customers and stakeholders. For an example, an organisation can have an enthusiastic and "can do" way of being, while another organisation can have a resigned or docile way of being – these different ways of being will produce fundamentally different business results.

We will propose that values are important, but not an end in themselves. Rather, they are an input into an organisation's way of being. The challenge and opportunity for HR is to focus on creating organisational ways of being that will best contribute to the achievement of business results.

Nick Sceats is a co–founder and Director of Catapult Ltd, a business performance consultancy. Nick works as a strategic consultant, helping organisations develop and implement strategic plans. This includes working with organisations to create and clarify what they want to achieve (vision) and how they want to go about their business (values).

He has undertaken vision and values work for public and private organisations including Office of Treaty Settlements, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, Haines Recruitment Communications, and Pynenburg and Collins Architects.

A pioneer in the field of employment branding, Nick has worked with high profile organisations such as Coca Cola New Zealand and the House of Travel to develop their employment brands. Central to the creation of an effective employment brand is the identification and articulation of the organisation's values and vision and aligning and inspiring staff to the vision and values.

Nick is a polished and provocative presenter. He has led seminars and workshops in the UK, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. He co–leads Catapult's three day residential leadership programme.

Nick has senior leadership experience having been General Manager of advertising company Ogilvy & Mather, and a former US–based Vice President of Porter Novelli.

Nick is 42 years of age married with two young children.

C2 Session Indicator    more info


Corporate Values



Grunt Factor:





Presentation 25%; Q&A 30%; group work 35%; reporting 20%



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