The Hidden Values Driving Strategy

The Hidden Values Driving Strategy

Leaders’ subconscious biases can influence their choices of growth strategies.

A growing cadre of managers is recognizing that their companies’ long-term prospects depend on demonstrating positive societal impacts.1 To that end, they’re taking pains to clearly articulate what they and their organizations value. This is helping them to define meaningful business goals, appeal to customers, and motivate a rising generation of workers who seek purpose, not just a paycheck.

But in doing all this, leaders tend to focus on values that are consciously held and shared in their organizations, such as sustainability or diversity and inclusion. They often fail to recognize how their very personal subconscious values — for instance, how much they value debate versus harmony — influence how they make plans and decisions and achieve their goals.2 These subconscious values shape our organizations’ strategies and tactics by directing our focus and influencing which plans we make and how we implement them.