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matrix vision newsletter 
Values Issue
October, 2012
In This Issue
Personal Values
Values and Leadership
Putting Values into Action
Case Study - Values
Surveys and Feedback to help Core Values
Quick Links
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Story of the Month


Once upon a time a scorpion wanted to cross a brook. On the bank he saw a frog and asked if the frog would give him a ride to the other side.


"Oh no," says the frog, "If I carry you on my back you will sting me."


"But why would I sting you when we would both surely perish," replied the scorpion.


The frog eventually conceded that the scorpion had a point, and agreed to the request.


Half way across, the scorpion stang the frog, and they both began to drown.


"But why did you break your word and sting me, knowing it would be certain death for us both?" cried the frog.


"Because it is in my nature." said the scorpion.


Values Quotes
"Our dreams, goals, and ideas come from our values ... If what we are doing does not come from what we care about most in life, it is meaningless."
Joyce Wycoff


" If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.


Denis Waitley


"As you live high standards publicly and privately, and even under great pressure adhere to them, you raise the vision of others.


Richard G. Scott
"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.


Roy Disney

"Ideals are stars to steer by; they are not sticks to beat ourselves with."


Barbara Smith


"If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price."


Author Unknown


"Be careful of what you become in pursuit of what you want."
Jim Rohn
"Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and your values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them."
Stephen Covey
"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business."
Henry Ford
"Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
Oscar Wilde 
"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."


   Mahatma Gandhi 
Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter for October 2012. Some of the former readers of this newsletter may be wondering why there has been such a gap since the last edition of this newsletter. There is no short answer other than time got away from me.  OK, I admit it I have been a little slack.
It has been at the insistence of some of my former readers that I intend to get this newsletter out on a more regular basis. For previous readers - welcome back.  For new readers - I hope you can get something of value from this tome.


The theme of this newsletter is "Values" and it touches on both personal and corporate values. 


The newsletter covers several topics: 
  • Personal values - the definition and formation of our values
  • Workplace Motivators - an instrument to measure the how you stand on the six key motivators
  • Leadership Character - an exploration of one of the key elements of leadership effectiveness
  • Excerpt from "Losing It" - the line that some leaders have unfortunately crossed.
  • Corporate Values - the reasons why some companies have been successful
  • Putting Corporate Values into Action - the wisdom of Tom Peters
  • A Case Study on an organisation that put its Values into action  - and what has happened since
  • Using Surveys and Feedback to establish and build Core Values
Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!

If any of the information interests you and if you would like to find out how it can help you please contact us. We would love to talk with you.

Personal Values



Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes.

Values reflect a person's sense of right and wrong or what "ought" to be. Values tend to influence attitudes and behaviour.


Sociologist Morris Massey has described three major periods during which values are developed.


1. The Imprint Period. Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems. The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become)


2. The Modeling Period. Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people. Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel. We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable-maybe even more so than your parents.


3. The Socialisation Period. Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with our the values of our peer groups.


Our personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive, etc. Our values generate behaviour and can help us make decisions and solve problems.


Examples of Values


ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, honesty, innovation, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistency, optimism, dependability, flexibility



Workplace Motivators
 The Workplace Motivators instrument has been designed to measure people's motivators, drivers and values. It is used in personal and professional settings to develop a better understanding of the lenses through which we all view the world.


With the Workplace Motivators, you will understand what motivates you and others to sell, manage, service and/or connect with customers. 


The Workplace Motivators instrument is based on the six internal motivators that drive you to take action.


Aesthetic - A passion to enjoy and experience the impressions of the world and allow them to mould you into all you can be. Achieve form and harmony in life.


Individualistic - A drive to control one's own destiny and achieve position and use that position to affect and influence others. A passion to lead.


Social - A passion to eliminate hate and conflict in the world and to assist others in becoming all that they can be.


Theoretical - A passion to know, seek out, analyse, understand and systemise. Search for knowledge whether it has practical application or not.


Traditional - A passion to find and pursue the higher meaning in life, and conform to a system for living.


Utilitarian - A passion to gain a practical return on the investment of time, effort and resources motivated by money.


 To download a sample Workplace Motivators Report 




 To find out more CONTACT US





Values and Leadership
The public scandals involving the poor leadership of companies like Enron in the USA and HIH in Australia has lead many management writers to reinforce the importance of leaders having great Character.







Warren Bennis, one of the most respected writers and researchers on leadership, has talked about leadership being all about integrity.


Max De Pree, the CEO of Herman Miller and a frequent writer on leadership, has equated leadership with personal character.


Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have written a book entitled Credibility and defined personal credibility as the foundation of all leadership.


Jim Shaffer writes about leadership being defined by "telling the truth."


Stephen Covey has written about the importance of leaders following principles in their daily behaviour.


Character is based on the values that leaders employ in the way in which they go about their job. A leader of Character finds it easy to identify the "most important priorities" because they know and understand their values.


John Zenger and Joseph Folkman in their great book The Extraordinary Leader outline some of the ways that Leadership character gets defined:

  • Making decisions with the organisation paramount in their mind, versus allowing a personal agenda to influence decisions
  • Keeping commitments that are made
  • Practicing self-development; constantly learning
  • Being receptive to, and specifically asking for, feedback from others
  • Being approachable by anyone
  • Treating everyone the same - no "smiling up and kicking down" behaviour
  • Treating the waitress and bellhop with dignity, as well as people of high status
  • Trusting other people; assuming they have good intentions
  • Working collaboratively with others, versus seeing everyone as a competitor
  • Not acting in an arrogant manner toward others
  • Being tenacious and not giving up because something is difficult
  • Having emotional resilience; adjusting rapidly to changing environments


 Bill Lane in a recent book called Losing It - Behaviours and Mindsets That Ruin Careers shares the story of a discussion he had with Dave Calhoun, formerly the vice chairman of GE and now the CEO of Nielsen.


 Calhoun told me, "There may come a day in your career when you are asked to approve, or go along with, or wink at, or ignore something that, if you do go along with it, will have a positive impact on some measure or metric that you are judged on.


"You may know that day, that you and your colleagues are near the edge. The lawyers or 'compliance people' may say 'It's okay,' or 'It shouldn't be a problem,' or 'That's the way they do it in the insurance industry'-or do business in China, or Hungary, or wherever." (Or you may hear the ugliest three words in any decision discussion: "Everybody does it.")


"But you must understand that when you are conscious that you are near the edge, that line in the sand, that line in your soul, is moving closer to you, not farther away, and you must have the faith in your own character and reputation and the courage to say, 'Hell, no! We're not doing this. And if you do it, you're doing it without me. And I'm picking up the phone.' Then you can go home and look your family in the eye and sleep like a baby. And there's nothing more important in any career you choose than the ability to do that...."



David Pendleton and Jennifer King in an article entitled Values and Leadership talk about how organisations that establish their corporate values and live by them tend to be more successful.


Values have recently become more prominent in the commercial world. Research in business organisations is notoriously poor, because it often uses little other than correlational evidence, without any controls or attempts to establish causality. Nevertheless, several studies over the past decade have indicated how powerful an organisation's values can be in improving its performance. Three such studies are worth considering here.


Waterman studied nine companies that satisfied three criteria. They had to have a statement of their company values; to have mechanisms in place to ensure that they put the values into practice; and to have been in existence for more than 25 years. The share price of these nine companies had outperformed that of the Dow Jones industrial average by 350%.


Collins and Porras analysed why a number of companies had outperformed their competitors over many years. They considered several possibilities but showed that the companies that were successful in the long term were strongly oriented to values. They had a strongly ethical culture that supported predetermined and declared values. The authors also pointed out that to have a beneficial effect a company's values had to be discovered rather than created. No "designer" values would do; values had to be real and credible. They had to be embodied in the very fabric of the organisation-in its systems, processes, practices, and rewards, not just in its annual report or on wallet cards carried by the company's officers.


O'Reilly and Pfeffer compared the performance of eight companies that had superior results in their sector with the performance of similar companies, matched on size and industry sector. The more successful companies had an approach to leadership that was based on values. As the authors put it, "The most visible characteristics that differentiate the companies we have described from others are their values and the fact that the values come first, even before stock price " Their values acted as guiding principles that helped them make crucial and difficult decisions.



If you need help with your own or your team's Leadership Development or you would like some assistance in defining the core values of your business give us a call....






Putting Values into Action
Tom Peters 
Tom Peters, management guru and co-author of the ground breaking book "In Search of Excellence" is a strong advocate of organisations establishing core values.  Here is some advice from Tom on how to put those values into action.



Effective executives and managers take advantage of the power of modeling or setting a positive example. They make themselves highly visible on a regular basis and use that exposure to instill the core values in the organisation.


Values are not established by the one grand speech at the annual meeting-no matter how eloquent. Nor are values established by brilliantly written business plans or the value statement per se.


Values are established by thousands upon thousands of mundane actions which, if taken separately, could be mistaken as insignificant. But, when these mundane choices are seen in total, they send a consistent, pounding, reinforcing message of "I'll show you how we do things around here!"



Executives and managers have at their disposal a wide variety of these mundane tools with which to influence corporate values, cultures, and behaviour. People know that despite all of the words, what is valued is what is both "expected" and "inspected" by management.


Use MBWA (Management by Wandering Around). A manager's wandering around is the most powerful mundane tool. Nothing speaks louder about what is of bedrock importance than where and how authority figures-from the foreman to the chairman-choose to spend their out-of-the-office time.


Use calendars. Where a manager's time goes is not a matter of chance, but unfortunately the pattern is too seldom consciously managed. Choices are made daily about what to do and with whom. Those choices, over time, send clear signals to the organisation about what is really important.


Use myths and stories. Retelling old "war stories" and unearthing new ones brings to life how the values are lived by people at all levels of the organisation.


Use agendas. Every executive and manager holds numerous meetings, and every meeting has an agenda, whether written or unwritten. The cumulative content of these agendas clearly signals executive priorities and concerns. The conscious management of those agendas, therefore, is another powerful signaling device.


Use consistent, repeated public statements. A clear public statement, in most any forum, followed by consistent behaviour can be a powerful motivator.


Use positive reinforcement. Effective management concentrates on reinforcing and rewarding behaviours consistent with stated values. "What gets rewarded is clearly what is valued!" People are keenly attuned to what is rewarded, even the most trivial manifestations.


Use selective attendance. Who attends meetings, whether line, staff, home office, or field, signals what's important. This can be purposefully managed with an eye toward value shaping.


Use questioning. The patterns of questions asked by managers have an enormous effect on organisational focus. You need to manage those patterns; people will read meaning into them. Why not target for what you want?


Use follow-up. The things that get swift and detailed follow-up by management will be perceived to be of real value.


Use a thousand ways: Weave the core values into your informal chats. Make the core values a part of formal performance appraisals. Hold formal values meetings. Post the values on the wall. Put them on the letterhead. Inscribe them on paperweights. Talk incessantly about them. Give scholarships named for them. Model them, model them, model them.




If you need help with clarifying and instilling the core values of your business

give us a call....




Case Study - Values
Hits the Fan 
I remember several years ago reading a book called When It Hits The Fan by Gerald C Meyers. This book discussed several case studies of businesses responding to corporate crises.
One example was Union Carbide and how it managed the Bhopal Disaster.


Thousands of people died in the world's worst industrial disaster on the night of December 3, 1984 and many thousands more in the following days and weeks. Over 150,000 people were severely affected by the release of the chemical methyl isocyanate from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in India.


Union Carbides response was to cover-up, devalue the lives of the workers and try to shift the blame.


However the example that is used to show how an organisation responded to crisis by referring to its Core Values is Johnson and Johnson and the Tylenol Poisoning Crisis.


Johnson & Johnson was established in 1886 has produced some of the world's most well-known brands, including Johnson's Baby Powder, which was introduced in l893; Band-Aids, introduced in l920, and Tylenol, in l960.


Johnson & Johnson's Our Credo is their guiding philosophy. It was written by General Robert Wood Johnson more than fifty years ago. Our Credo covers four main areas of responsibility: customers, employees, communities and shareholders.


Johnson & Johnson's true test of doing the right thing occurred in l982 during the Tylenol tamperings.


Robert Kniffin, vice president of corporate public relations, who was at the company then, tells the story: "In l982, when the poisoning occurred in Chicago, where someone put cyanide poison in the capsules, we had an unprecedented situation and had to invent ways of dealing with it. For example, that day the chairman sent me and someone from the law department to Pennsylvania where the product was made (McNeil Consumer). We didn't know what happened, whether something had happened in the plant or outside. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt took weeks. You had all these people within this company in a compressed, anxious, bordering on the hysterical, along with personal pressures on making decisions about what to do.


"I was in the president's office (at McNeil Consumer) and he had asked the vice president of finance to compute what it would cost to recall all of the capsules in the United States. This guy came back a couple of days later and said he calculated that it would be $75 million. And then he said, 'but we don't have 75 million dollars,' meaning McNeil Consumer. Then there was a pause and another guy said, 'but how can we not do this, because there might be another bottle on the shelf, and if we don't get them back, someone might die.' It was not an instance where someone said 'let's consult the Credo and think through this problem, starting with what's our responsibility to the consumer, but rather it was a way of looking at the world, at business and at the decisions. The Credo structures the way you think about things. When all was done and the dust had settled, we reached the conclusion that those hundreds of individual decisions were right decisions. They sprang from some common way of looking at the world, which in retrospect was the Credo.


At the time, Tylenol was the company's largest single money-maker. During the incident, their market share of the analgesic market dropped from 37 percent to 7 percent within weeks and the company's share price dropped 10 percent. In five months, a new tamper-proof Tylenol was back on the shelves, and it had regained 70 percent of its previous market share. Within three years its total market share was reached.


"The premise of the document was that if you order your priorities, most of the time it will work out. There are conflicts, of course. It was not in the stockholders' interest to take a $50 million after-tax write off. Nobody ever complained about that, which is interesting. It all seems clear in retrospect, but during those first few days nothing was clear. I was convinced we were going to lose that brand. The decision was made to recall the capsules altogether. As a result of that, we did find three bottles on the shelves in Chicago that were poisoned," says Kniffen.


"Companies usually don't get a test of this type to ascertain the importance of a business philosophy, but having the Credo helped Johnson & Johnson employees unconsciously take the steps necessary to do the right thing," he says.


Then Chairman James Burke was quoted at the time: "After the crisis was over we realised that no meeting had been called to make the first critical decision. Everyone of us knew what we had to do. We had the Credo to guide us."




In a new book called The 3 Power Values, David Gebler revisits Johnson and Johnson


Johnson & Johnson was once revered as the epitome of a company whose core values had overcome a devastating setback that might have sunk a lesser company. When an unknown assailant poisoned random boxes of Extra Strength Tylenol in 1982, the company's transparent response became the gold standard of crisis management. By 2011, Johnson & Johnson had a new and unfortunate identity as a company whose quality was so poor that it had issued a dozen recalls in the last two years alone. It had even been caught in a "phantom recall" - hiring people to surreptitiously take boxes off the shelves so that it could avoid issuing another recall. What happened to the values of the company? Were the executives in 2011 so different from those in 1982?


According to Gebler, while the company had undergone a number of structural and ownership changes since 1982, the core issue was that the company had lost its grip on its culture of ethics and values.


This is a common problem. Executives can be baffled when employees and managers act in ways that are clearly contrary to the culture of the company - or at least what those executives believe to be the culture of the company. In truth, companies themselves often put up the roadblocks that prevent employees, managers and even executives from behaving the way they should.


The book is full of examples of companies where a weak or toxic culture has driven good people to do wrong things, citing for instance the 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. These illustrations show how higher standards by leaders bring out the best in others, and lower standards make it easier for people to rationalise unethical behaviours.


And by 'leaders', Gebler means anybody in a management role, however junior. 

The 3 Power Values


The values that Gebler has identified as catalysts for a healthy and successful culture are listed below.

The key to developing a strong culture is their practical alignment.

  1. Integrity - links the walk (standards of behaviours) with the talk (mission and goals), building trust through consistency and predictability. Aligns goals and standards.
  2. Commitment - links values to goals by creating ways for people to feel engaged and connected. Aligns principles and goals.
  3. Transparency - creates an open environment where employees can express their values without fear. Aligns principles and standards.

In seeking to understand why cultures become weak, Gebler identifies what he calls the 3 roadblocks to performance. These are self-deception, rationalisation and disengagement. The power values define the steps an organisation has to take to ensure a culture that will not support these roadblocks.


Surveys and Feedback to help Core Values
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Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings - from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation.
Our software contains everything you might need - for everyone involved in the feedback process:
  • More than 1,200 items in a massive library - easily customised - or we can incorporate your competencies.
  • Approximately 300 survey items in leadership categories.  Each one has an associated document for the learner that contains:
    • What a low rating in this item might mean
    • Specific recommendations for improving in this area
    • Recommended resources
  • Ability to not only collect open-ended responses at the end of the survey but also get optional explanatory comments for each item rated, providing extraordinary coaching and personal growth material.
  • Dozens of powerful reports can be generated.  Compare previous to current results to measure improvements.  Produce consolidated reports with summary data for the entire organisation.
  • A 31 page booklet and online performance analysis tool for each feedback recipient to help them create and implement a personal development plan.
    We can tailor almost any aspect of a feedback project - add your competencies, use or modify ours - or any combination.  With this unprecedented flexibility, we can provide many different types of surveys for your organisation.  A few examples:
    • All "soft-skills" training to provide a baseline of behaviours, feedback to participants and measurable results to management
    • Leadership and individual skill development
    • Needs analysis
    • Team and organisational effectiveness
    • Climate surveys and customer feedback
    Feedback is one of our specialities.  We have the experience and expertise to handle all your feedback and survey administration needs.  We take time to find out exactly what you need, and we create the survey according to your specifications.
    • Save valuable internal staff time for other priorities
    • Get efficient and very cost effective services
    • Relax, knowing that all feedback is kept confidential and stored securely off-site
    • Make it easy and fast for participants with an internet connection to access their assessments from anywhere in the world.
    Surveys can be used to help clarify the core values of the organisation by enabling all members of organisation to participate in the defining, refining and establishment of the core values of the company.
    However the real benefit comes from getting feedback about how well the core values are being "lived" in the organisation. This feedback provides the basis for reinforcement of what is going well and improvement of where there may be inconsistencies.
    To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.
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    To talk with us about how you can use feedback to help improve your organisation, please
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    All the Best,
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    Barry McMaster
    Matrix Vision Pty Limited