Alignment or Agreement?

Published on
November 3, 2012
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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Just finished Tribal Leadership. Brilliant stuff – a must read for any leader.

Interesting thought from page 177 – “First, values must be core, and that means universal. The moment a group withholds the benefit of a value from another, it is not universal, hence not core. Second, the unity resulting from core values and a noble cause must be alignment, not agreement.”

The authors were referring to collaborating with other individuals or organizations, and how two parties don’t need to agree in order to work together. What they do need is aligned values – values that can be adhered to without infringing on the other.

Just like with employees, so often when we look for suppliers or strategic partners we only consider the tactical fit (can they do what needs to be done?). How often do we bother to connect on values? Do you even know what your partners value? Can they work in alignment with your own? Often times it won’t even matter – values won’t factor in. Of course, when it hits the fan is exactly when you do want to be working with partners who get it. Better to find out now than then, surely?