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Graduate certificate highlights values as route to sustainability

July 14, 2011
Amy Dove

Navigating today's complex world takes a strong internal compass, not just a roadmap.

That's the driving idea behind a new certificate program at Royal Roads University. The Graduate Certificate in Values-Based Leadership, through the Institute for Values-Based Leadership and the Centre for Applied Leadership and Management, will enable leaders to model integrity and inspire their people to achieve their best through aligning what matters most to them and the organization , said Marilyn Taylor, Institute director.

The program was developed by Taylor, Mark Fulton and Richard Barrett. Fulton is a leadership educator and senior consultant with Intersol and Barrett is an international leader in the field of values-based leadership. He is the creator of Cultural Transformation Tools and founder of the Barrett Values Centre.

"Organizational culture has become the new frontier of competitive advantage," Barrett said. "From businesses to nation states across more than 60 countries, we've seen how a dialogue about values can change the paradigm of leadership. Cultural transformation begins with the personal transformation of the leaders."

Many people know that we need to do something differently, and they might even have a vision on what needs to be done, Fulton said. This certificate is really about leveraging that vision and showing people different ways to build a values-based organization.

The notion of aligning values for organizational success is gaining traction; ultimately the certificate is about improving the workplace for the benefit of prosperity, people and the planet - none of which are mutually exclusive, Fulton said. There needs to be a shift away from "short-term, what's-the-profit-now thinking" to long-term sustainable planning, he added.

"We must recognize that decisions we make individually, and in our organizations and governments, have repercussions around the globe," Barrett added. "We must not be afraid to take our highest values to work. It is time for each of us to engage fully in transforming the values of business."

Approaching our organizational challenges from this mind set enhances the attractiveness of the organization to talented people, and fosters engagement and retention through transparent and meaningful communication. It creates trust which helps people to thrive in a climate of uncertainty and change. The program addresses these challenges through strengthening leaders' cores values in action, developing effective collaborations and strong partnerships that build on core values, and uses conflict to create dialogue and innovation.

"We can't really improve anything in organizations in ways that will last unless we start working with the culture," Taylor said. "So then the question is how do we change the culture? It turns out there are some very good ways to do that and they are all very new."

The Graduate Certificate in Values-Based Leadership provides nine graduate credits and professional certification in the use of the Cultural Transformation Tools. The credits from this certificate can be used toward electives in other Royal Roads programs such as, nine credits towards a master's in interdisciplinary studies, six credits towards a master's in business administration (MBA), or three credits towards the master's in leadership.

Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed on the basis of their prior learning and leadership experience in accordance with the Royal Roads innovative Flexible Admission Policy.

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate Values-Based Leadership click here. The program starts in November.