by John Knight, Programme Director

There’s a phrase attributed to management ‘guru’ Peter Druker – ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. But for me the term ‘culture’ can be a bit hard to pin down. I suppose it’s ‘how we do things around here’. However, I think that culture is driven by the values of the people in the organisation. Get the values right and the culture will follow.

And that’s why I knew from the first moment I met the C.Co team, and from the day I started working as part of that team just a few weeks ago, that I had found a workplace ‘home’. Values are put front and centre of the organisation. They make up the very fundamentals of C.Co.

When I talk about values I’m referring to the deeply held principles that guide our decisions and, in an organisational setting, drive the strategy. These are not a (usually faded) poster on a wall, or something that is pulled out annually at appraisal time. If we don’t understand our own personal values and live by them we’re likely to suffer from an identity crisis, and the same goes for companies. C.Co has very skilled, competent and experienced people, but as well as that every member of the team is clear about the goal they are all driving towards, and our company values support that goal.

The headline C.Co values are:

  • People matter
  • Integrity
  • Long term impact
  • Growth and learning
  • Evidence based
  • Diversity
  • Being better
  • Collaboration

All of these are of course underpinned with tangible and clear examples of what these statements mean. But I don’t need to see them written down because I see them in action every day, both in how the team treat each other, how we work with clients and importantly how we treat ourselves.

For me – someone who has been working in the public sector for quite a few years now – it is inspiring be part of an organisation the really practices what it preaches. C.Co work with organisations on development of their culture, behaviours and values, providing a whole range of support, from facilitation of leadership teams and supporting organisational change, through to senior management recruitment and staff assessment and development. And when we are helping to deliver this kind of OD support organisations can see (without getting too evangelical) there is a genuine case of ‘do unto others’.

As the C.Co team continues to grow so the culture will constantly evolve, but its values will make up the foundation.

Well, that’s breakfast over, I wonder what’s for lunch!

Get in touch with me at if you would like any further information on how CIPFA C.Co can support your organisation in any of the areas mentioned.

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