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Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke

Beth A. Brooke is Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Ernst & Young and is a member of the firm’s Global Management Group and a member of its Americas Executive Board.

Waiting for Choppy Water

Not knowing all the facts, it would be inappropriate for me to weigh in on Van Jones. The more important point in my mind, however, is the importance of organizational values. All organizations, whether public or private sector, need clearly articulated values. These values define a culture. Everyone within that organization knows the values and the value system. Members of the organization can choose to live those values everyday or choose to be a part of a different organization.

It is that culture, grounded in those values, that guide actions and behaviors of employees and leaders, everyday, even when nobody is looking. Leaders live those values and they let those values guide their decisions. And when those values are being displayed by an employee, leaders are loyal to them, visible in their decision-making, and continually reinforcing of the values.

In good times and in choppy water, it is the culture and the values that sustain organizations. And you can't create them overnight, so waiting for choppy water to get serious about values and living them is something organizations do at their own peril.

By Beth A. Brooke

 |  September 8, 2009; 12:36 PM ET
Category:  Making mistakes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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In my humble opinion, nothing so impedes intelligent conversation in the early 21st century as the universal use of such hackneyed terms as "value system" and "culture" as if they refer to something real. I mean no disrespect to Ms Brooke when I ask what in the world can "Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement" at an accounting firm possibly mean?

Posted by: miglefitz | September 9, 2009 6:46 PM
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The Post should have these organizational values in place as well. I'd be curious to hear Bradlee and Pearlstein opine on whether the Post erred in ignoring the Jones story until right before his resignation.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 9, 2009 2:00 PM
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