As I write this post, the outcome of the US presidential election is still undecided. Already, however, Donald Trump and his team have accused those running the electoral process of defrauding the American people. Legal cases have been launched and the president has demanded that the Supreme Court does its duty and intervenes.

The USA, like many other western nations, including the UK, is deeply divided. President Trump’s accusations will only serve to heighten and exacerbate those divisions. If he fails to get re-elected, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he refused to concede defeat or offer his support to the new president.

Democracy may be driven by strict, legislated processes and rules that cover campaigning, voting and counting, but, in the end, it is underpinned by an unspoken set of values of which ‘loser’s consent’ is the most important. Once those values are ignored or trashed, as is possible in this election, democracy becomes impossible.

Similarly, your own organisation may have a clear strategy, agenda and set of priorities, but without a shared set of values, you will find it extremely difficult to deliver your ambitions.

In my experience, functionally-focused initiatives, pet projects and competing agendas are all evident in those organisations that fail to embed a common set of values and behaviours, particularly across its top team. And, as seems possible with the US election, the result is insularity and an inability to get anything meaningful done.

As a leader of your business, what steps have you taken to embed common values and behaviours across your organization? And how are you applying those values across your executive team so that you can accelerate and maximise the delivery of your strategy?

Off The Record: Democracy by Leonard Cohen

It’s coming like the tidal flood

Beneath the lunar sway

Imperial, mysterious

In amorous array

Democracy is coming

To the USA

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