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Building a Values – Driven Organisation; A Whole System Approach to Cultural Transformation.

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’This book is an absolute must for all CEO’s, directors and leaders; particularly those working in healthcare.’

Title: Building a Values – Driven Organisation; A Whole System Approach to Cultural Transformation.

Author: Richard Barrett

Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann

Reviewer: Claire McGuigan, practice education coordinator for Nursing & Midwifery, Northern Health & Social Care Trust. Northern Ireland.

What was it like?

Richard Barrett has passionately mapped the values of over 500 companies in over 35 countries since 1997 and suggests that value driven companies are the most successful companies on the planet. He has assisted organisations to map their values, develop and perfect cultural transformation programmes, while challenging them to think bigger and begin to create a better world for everyone- not just for our children but for our children’s children. He has spent a lot of time working with governments and a range companies e.g. oil, technology and financial institutions. This book is an absolute must for all CEO’s, directors and leaders; particularly those working in healthcare. 

What were the highlights?

The two most important topics explored in this book are

1. A whole system approach to cultural transformation and

2. Values management- measuring, monitoring and responding to casual indicators of performance (values and behaviours) to adjust the culture of an organisation so that it is able to sustain high performance and mission assurance.

This book is set on the premise that organisations do not transform but people do- so anything is possible with the right tools!

It is engaging and practical, offering a number of tools and frameworks to guide, measure and drive cultural transformation across an organisation. There are 15 chapters; though each chapter can be read in isolation without losing its meaning; each section sequentially builds upon the readers understanding of value based assessments; one person-group-organisation.

The entire book is legendary, particularly thought-provoking, giving new perspectives on how to create employee fulfilment and seamless integration of people’s activities across institutional boundaries and levels.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The author presents a novel framework, which assists individuals to reflect on their own values. A free online assessment is available to complete. Assessment of organisational culture, identity and its service alignment to its community and beyond is illustrated. All of which is crucial in assessing the existing culture, diagnose any weakness and assess readiness for change.

Step by step you are shown how to use personal values assessments to successfully merge cultures. Significantly, the author notes that organisational change begins with a lot of preparation and that personal transformation of the leadership group is crucial. A coaching tool is offered to assist.

The leadership model proposed is relevant to all health care workers irrespective of position. It offers three more levels of leadership beyond “transformational leadership” to help develop new leaders; new change agents, valued based decision makers and full spectrum leaders. This chapter alone would be particularly useful to senior healthcare leaders and those charged with designed leadership or organisation change programmes. Likewise the chapter on value based decision making and its relevance across an organisation is innovative, practical and cleverly simple.

Who should read it?

All in all, this book breaks down the complexity of cultural transformation at an organisational level, offering a corporate framework and allowing the reader to become a master practitioner of whole systems change by using the concepts and practical tools discussed to develop a project plan.

building values

building values





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