This week’s focus: Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays, has said that the manipulation of LIBOR that some of his staff were involved in went totally against the company’s culture and values.

Fair enough, but “culture” and “values” are tricky things. Critically, your people do not base their behaviours on the values statement written in your annual report or hung from banners in your reception area. Instead, they base their behaviours on the myriad of actions and decisions they see you make on a daily basis, and, more specifically, on who gets praised and who doesn’t, who gets promoted and who doesn’t, and who gets the big rewards and who doesn’t.

Forget your mission and values statement: what do you your daily actions and decisions tell your people about the real culture and values of your organisation?

Off The Record: The Company Way from the musical, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (lyrics by Frank Loesser). Twimble, the risk-averse head of the mail room, and Finch, the ambitious young executive, sing a duet:

Twimble: Well I said to myself, “Now brash young man, don’t get any ideas.” Well I stuck to that, and I haven’t had one in years.

Finch: You play it safe.

Twimble: I play it the company way. Wherever the company puts me, there I stay.

Finch: But what is your point of view?

Twimble: I have no point of view.

Finch: Supposing the company thinks…

Twimble: I think so too!

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.