Handbook for Effective Collaboration – Creating Shared Expectation – OPERATIONALIZATION OF CORE VALUES
Operationalization of Core Values
We are often drawn to collaborate with individuals and organizations that share our values. We find ourselves committed to work collaboratively on work that addresses these core values, often around high stakes issues. How we jointly operationalize these values will influence the level of success and satisfaction with our work. What are some of the values that frame our work?
- Family Driven
- Services provided in Natural Environments
- Youth Guided
- Fiscally Responsible
- Culturally and Linguistically Competent
- All children can learn
- We will make all decisions based on the needs of the client
This is just a sampling of the values that show up in the work that many of us are involved in. So how does this play out?
- When we first establish our collaborative relationship we will often rally around these values and see them as common ground upon which we can build and effective relationship.
- While each of us uses the same language to describe these shared values we interpret or operationalize them in unique and somewhat personal ways. What does this value mean to us? What does it look like from our perspective to align our actions with these values? How do we know these values when we see them? We attempt to move them from complex, and somewhat abstract ideas to more concrete definitions. This is an important process as we make these constructs relevant to the context in which we find ourselves.
- It is at this stage that these issues can become challenging. Once I have defined this value for myself, my tendency is to project my definition as an expectation on you. I tend to expect that you will define or operationalize the value in the same way in which I have. When your interpretation of these values differs from mine, I may come to assume that we do not share the same values. Conflict may manifest at this time and how we engage it will determine our effectiveness as a team.
It IS NOT about determining who has the right definition. It IS ABOUT recognizing the complexity of these values and about taking time to reach a shared understanding. As we continue to engage the work the ways in which we operationalize these values may change based on our shared learning and the realities we encounter