I was invited recently by the senior leadership team of a global organisation to help it define its organisational philosophy. The organisation is Christian faith-based and its leaders wanted to ensure that its distinctive values were represented in its outlook, policies and approach.
I hadn't developed an organisational philosophy before so did a quick Google search to see what other organisations had done in this area. I found few good examples that I could draw from so have reproduced below the philosophy we created for others who may share this interest. Introduction
Our philosophy reflects our core beliefs and values. It reveals what we believe and value most about people and organisations, the kind of organisation we are and desire to be, how we will work together in the future, what we want it to feel like, how [org] will be governed and led.
Our philosophy is both real and aspirational. It’s about how we are now and what we want to be more like, more of the time, as we move forward. It seeks to capture and reflect spirit, ethos and guiding principles that will inspire and inform our people and culture thinking, policy and practice.
We aspire to become a global employer brand that reflects and reveals an exemplary organisation, an inspiring, healthy, innovative and effective organisation, an organisation that related professionals and others who share our vision pursue for jobs and feel extremely proud to work for.
We believe that people are [org]’s greatest asset, that attracting, deploying, developing and retaining the right people in the right roles at the right time creates the best opportunity to achieve [org]’s mission. This demands insightful and skilful people leadership at global, national and local levels.
We will therefore seek to develop and model high quality governance, leadership and management that lead change well, bring out the best in people and value all people as unique and created in the image of God. Our people policies and practices will demonstrate our core values made real.
We believe that staff contribute their best when they feel valued, productive and engaged. We will therefore nurture positive relationships, create clear responsibilities and build sense of achievement, ensuring work is meaningful, stimulating and enjoyable, that [org] is a place where people thrive.
We will find innovative ways to create organisational and team cultures that feel passionate, productive and fun, offering opportunities for personal and professional growth. We will celebrate learning and achievement and reward people fairly on the basis of their contribution.
We believe that [org] is most effective as a whole when people, teams and regional/global entities work together collaboratively. We will therefore work to build partnership capacity through reinforcing interdependent linkages and developing processes and systems that improve efficiency.
We believe that organisational wisdom is a critical asset as we face an uncertain future. We will therefore reflect and pray, invite critique of our work, model a willingness to hear and improve, manage our performance and resources well and model transparency, accountability and trust.
Our organisational philosophy provides a guiding vision, framework and touchstone for [org]’s people and culture policies. It enables us to test our policies and practices against agreed core beliefs, values and principles as we seek to develop and live out our unique culture and brand.