Why we need rules and values ​​to be successful, novatec

Why we need rules and values ​​to be successful

In this blog I would like to share my experience with values ​​and why we need both. I hear people often talk about values ​​and their importance. But in daily life people often neglect values ​​or simply forget about them. Or we define values ​​but do not use them to validate decisions and actions. This is dangerous because you can not live on rules alone. Therefore, it is important to understand how rules and values ​​play together. One without the other is not enough to be successful. They are like two sides of a medal. If you try to have one without the other, it will not work. So, let me tell you why.

A word on rules

We use rules to establish a basic understanding of what we want and do not want. An example would be when we define the playing field and the basic rules for a game. We make it clear to everyone how we want to play the game. Rules are just perfect for that. Rules should be clear and short. We try to define all the aspects of the issue at hand. In the end we come up with a static set of rules to define how. a project should work. Everyone involved in the process. It is the same approach with laws. We establish the individual and address the needs of the community. We use them to define the basis for our societies.

So, we have everything under control, right? But what if things get dynamic? What if the rules do not address every detail? What if there are no rules for certain aspects? The drawback with rules is that they are static. But reality is very dynamic and complex. As a result, we are often not even enough to adopt the rules. Furthermore, we usually want to approve rule sets before they come alive. Think about the process to release a new law. In consequence, we need something else to handle the dynamic aspects of our sets of rules. This is true for a business context or life in general.

How Values ​​can help

What are values? Values ​​are things like “Respect”, “Honesty”, “Openness”, “Fairness”, “Charity” or “Courage” to name a few. First of all, values ​​are things we value and share as a community or society. Values ​​thus give use guidance on which behavior we desire as a group. And finally, values ​​give us a tool to validate our decisions and actions. This helps us to bridge the gaps every rule set has. So it helps us to validate if our rules are consistent with our desired behavior. If our set of values ​​matches our rules, we become able to address dynamic aspects. Even if they are actions that are respectful or honest to the members of a community. Most noteworthy this enables us to take the right decision, even if there is no specific rule.

What does that mean in real life? Imagine a trial. Very often things are not black and white. Judges need to decide even if there is no explicit rule for a certain aspect of a case. To do that the right decision. Appropriate values ​​may e.g. be “proportionality”, “independence” or “fairness”. By using a good set of values, judges are able to live up to the spirit of the law. That enables judges to interpret the law to take good decisions. This principle applies to every situation. This might be a trial, a project or a game. In short everything is based on a set of rules.

Bringing it all together

So here is the riddle to solve: What kind of person do you want to be? A person that tries to live the spirit of the rules by living by an appropriate set of rules? Or a person that tries to tweak and bend the rules all the time? Want to guide that decision. Take Scrum as an example. The framework contains a set of rules. These define the playing field for Scrum. As a framework for all kinds of products Scrum obviously can not define everything. To move around according to the spirit of Scrum you need the values ​​defined by it. Without the values ​​”Focus”, “Respect”, “Openness”, “Courage” and “Commitment” there is no Scrum. You need them to fill the gaps and details for your product that the Scrum rules do not cover.

As humans we need the combination of rules and values ​​to form functional groups, communities and societies. A good set of rules is important. It defines the intended way of living and acting together in a group. There is no need for an appropriate value system. You may follow the rules by the letter. But without the values ​​all you want is a hollow zombie not living up to the intended spirit. Therefore, we need a good set of rules.

A good example are the values ​​of the South African National Parks. They help to take the right decisions in the complex environment of national parks.

Additional readings

To define your own set of values ​​the ideas in management 3.0 might give you a quick start. To get a first impression of Management 3.0 in action you might read the following blogs:

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Christina Cherry
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