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Living by our T.E.A.M. Values

4 employees smiling to the camera

When I joined the team at WEBC one of the first things I looked for was our ‘playbook’. I was searching for an understanding of the shared vision for how we act, how we make decisions and what we aspire to be.

While the team was filled with great people who were doing great work and who had great ideas about the future, I didn’t immediately find what I was looking for.

Through dialogue we realized there was a need to talk through our ‘playbook’ to come to ground on how we would accomplish our goals. This sent us through a comprehensive process which helped define our core values. After hours of team discussion and debate, surveys, stakeholder interviews and lots and lots of wordsmithing to get them right, I am proud of the end result.

I have since learned that the hard part was not getting our values on paper.

The real task is to constantly and honestly answer one question:

Are we living to our values or just posting them on the wall?

At the outset we agreed our values need to represent both who we are as a team today and what we aspire to be tomorrow.

In the 24 months since we first defined our values we’ve been constantly challenged to build them into our work.

It started with framing conversations around the T.E.A.M. concept.  Day to day our values now help guide the decisions we make, and they help us determine where to best place our energy and resources as part of our mission to become an outstanding service-oriented organization that provides memorable service and support to our Plan Members.

But it can’t stop there.

Gradually we’ve begun to build T.E.A.M into:

  • Strategic planning
  • Annual priority setting
  • Quarterly reporting
  • Recruitment and promotion
  • Team and individual training
  • Individual OKR goal setting
  • Process re-design

Are we perfect?


As a collective – and certainly for me personally as a leader – I don’t think we are close yet.

I do think we genuinely try though to frame our approach to the work within one of our values – Change. It is our intention to seek continuous improvement. The process does not end. We all just try to get a little better each day.

Over a short series of posts I’d like to share a bit about how we at WEBC weave our values into our work.

Team members will share their personal thoughts on how they approach working to one or more specific values. As well, the leadership group will contribute perspective on how our values are built into our collaboration with stakeholders and into our planning processes.

Why are we doing this?

It’s two-fold.

First, one of our values is Transparency. We want to share what you can expect in working with us as a Plan Member, stakeholder or even a team member.

Second, we will use this series to support our own Learning – another important value. We want to ensure our values don’t just hang on a fancy poster on the wall. We want to bring them right into our work and share what we’ve learned through the process.

I hope this helps provide some insight into the work and culture at WEBC. If you would like more information please reach out to us directly!

Darren McKnight (dmcknight@webc.ca)