HRINZ Conference 2005 Working Through Values Working Through Values  

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Day One – Wednesday 14 September


F16 Developing Values

Neil McGregor    

Ok. We’ve Published the Values – But How Are we Behaving?

Neil McGregor, Human Synergistics

Have you noticed that most companies' values are the same? Sure they use different words like teamwork, camaraderie, togetherness... you get the drift, but in essence most of them say the same thing. So if they all want the same thing how come it's so hard to do?

The way we behave is based around the way we think – the way we think is based upon life experiences and assumptions. Generating and then publishing values and associated feel good statements does not alter the way we think – and therefore will not change or guide ones behaviour. You see, most people really aren't even aware of how they behave! They think they know, but when many receive credible 360 degree feedback they are shocked to learn how they are perceived.

To change we first must know ourselves!

Ok, that's getting a little heavy so in this session we'll cover a little bit of the above, but what we will really aim to do is put participants in a situation (life and death actually) with a group of others and we'll see how you behave. There's more too, but we're not going to give it away or else you won't get as much from the session.

The session is designed to link strongly to Personal Values and Developing Values. The session begins by splitting participants into small workgroups (6) where they undertake a case study; firstly by themselves and then as a group. Their life's on the line and we'll gee them up! As a group they are required to select and prioritise a list of objects that have been listed. The priority will largely depend on the strategy they select for overcoming a surmountable obstacle. Wrong strategy – wrong items, but alas it's not about being right or wrong – it's about putting people in a situation they are not familiar with people they don't know. How will they behave? At the end of the exercise we will get them to complete a Group Style Inventory that asks questions about how the group behaved and they will rank their group's performance – around behaviours. While debriefing the exercise we will add up all group scores and give them anonymous feedback (A group looked like this, another like this) without identifying which group it was.

The GSI identifies the behaviours and hence the 'values' being exhibited in each group. We will then debrief how this relates to values. They will then have a tangible experience by measuring values/behaviours at work and they will be able to transport this approach to their workplace. Practical learning! – with an emphasis on outcomes for the participants.

It's 70% interactive, fun, debating, making decisions, more debating, and teamwork – oh and 25% presentation – come on, we've got to give you some well researched academic findings to cement your experience, but it happens at the end and you'll understand it! We'll also keep it as short as possible – promise (integrity, honesty, truthfulness or something like that is one of our values – I'm sure).

Neil McGregor: The boring bit: After two years of obligatory world travel I spent ten years as an Officer in the NZ Army. Initially an Engineer I then worked with L & D. I left the Army to continue this career at The Warehouse where I eventually became the National Training & Development Manager. After four and a half years I went to the Arabian Gulf where I worked in HR/OD for two years with the biggest Arab owned Reinsurance company before becoming Head of Corporate Strategy for the same company for another two years. After my return a brief stint in Auckland City Council was followed by just under two years as the HR manager in DB Breweries, and I am now working in Auckland for Human Synergistics.

The passionate bit: As you can see I have been lucky enough to have worked for some great organisations – all of whom had a great focus on people and organisational development – which is now my absolute passion – not counting my family, rugby, fishing, golf, wine, beer – ok it's not in my top five but I do love it!

F16 Session Indicator    more info


Developing Values


All levels

Grunt Factor:





Presentation 25%; Q&A 5%; group work 70%



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