Many of my consulting projects focus on the client’s desire to develop, improve or change the value culture in their organisation. To this end, I develop methods and tools (often leadership tools) that allow employees and managers to systematically reflect on specific situations and issues in their professional lives based on values (and other principles), and concretely, creatively, purposefully, and judiciously conduct their own actions based on these values in order to improve the situation.
The introduction and practice of these methods/tools in the organisation through managed information/communication, continuous training, trainer training and various other training and event formats is an integral part of the development process. A number of well-developed and proven special methods/tools have emerged over the past 15 years for the areas of ethics and value orientation. I use these methods/tools in new projects when appropriate, which often requires detailed adjustments or major modifications. In doing so, I have employed 20 customer-specific versions of the following nine core tools.
But I also develop completely new methods/tools as needed by clients.
Ethics-Oriented and Value-Oriented Tools
“Values Lab” & “Ethics Lab”
The “Values Lab” is a workshop-based tool that analyses, assesses and evaluates a variety of objects and projects (products, services, innovations, work processes, communications, etc.) in light of the interests and value perspectives of relevant stakeholders. It is especially suited for working in teams. Depending on the complexity of the question, a Value Lab takes 2 x 0.5 to 3 x 1 days. In addition to a value blueprint for the examined object/project, it provides about 10 to 20 improvement ideas that increase value integrity and acceptance among the stakeholders and minimise risks and unintentional negative side effects.
The “Ethics Lab” is a variation of this tool. It does not work with stakeholder-specific sets of values, but with general ethical values and goals. Topic, area and sector-specific sets of ethical criteria can also be taken into account.
“Ethics Compass” & “Value Compass”
The methodology used in the Ethics Lab can not only be used in group/team situations, but can also be used as an “Ethics Compass” in modified form for individual applications.
While the “Ethics Compass” guides the evaluation and optimisation of various topics according to genuinely ethical criteria, the “Value Compass” takes into account a set of non-ethical values, such as the defined “values” of a company. So the “Value Compass” can be used very well in a professional context as a management tool, in particular as an instrument for self-management and leadership.
“Leadership Compass” & “Leadership Workshop”
In the context of the development of organisational leadership, the Value Compass should be supplemented with leadership principles (e.g. leadership tasks, leadership approaches, etc.). A “Leadership Compass” is created for this purpose. As a practical standard tool for everyday work, it supports management to comprehensively see and understand leadership situations and to plan and improve their own leadership actions. The Leadership Compass can strengthen a common management culture within the company through organisation-wide training.
The “Leadership Workshop” is a workshop based on the Leadership Compass. The participating management discusses concrete leadership situations from their personal daily work and support each other in finding solutions for handling the respective leadership situation (collegial consultation and exchange of experiences).
Tools to Resolve Performance-Related Team Disagreements and Conflicts
“Quality Lab” and “Team Workshop”
With its stakeholder-differentiated analysis of problem situations focusing on interests and values, the “Value Lab” (see above) can be used with a few adjustments as a workshop-based disagreement and conflict-resolution method. Workshop participants develop joint solutions including a to-do list for high-motivation implementation. The tool can have a different focus in the organisation depending on the prevailing problem and culture of conflict and cooperation as well as thematic interests: “Cooperative Talks”, “Process Workshop”, “Quality Lab” and others.
The “Team Workshop” is based on the format of the “Leadership Workshop” and is used for resolving disagreement and conflicts in management teams. Senior management can also succeed in seemingly unhappy situations within the leadership team to achieve a common understanding of the problem and a commitment to a mutually worked-out solution.
“Brand Lab”, “Brand Ethics Lab” & “… Compasses”
The “Brand Lab” is a workshop-based method in which brand-relevant items (products, services, brand activities, presentations and communications, etc.) are analysed, evaluated and optimised for their appropriateness/fit to the brand. The central features of the brand (brand attributes, brand values, etc.), as developed in conventional brand-strategy models, serve as a set of principles.
For ethics-oriented brand management, in addition to such conventional brand features, the “Brand Ethics Lab” can also take into consideration general ethical values and goals as well as area, topic and sector-specific ethical criteria as principles.
The methodological core of both tools can also be used for individual reflection (“Brand Compass”, “Brand Ethics Compass”).