Paradoxically values do not become shared except through day-to-day acknowledgement of their on-target expression AND learning from incidents of imperfection (i.e. when actions are counter to espoused values).
Even the most skilled and committed leaders and staff will at times make mistakes relative to values. "In spite of your best intentions, you are going to get into hassles, annoy each other, and step on each other’s toes. It is an inevitable feature of work life, even in high-morale, high-performing organizations." (Kegan and Lahey How We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, 2001)
Ongoing discovery and dialogue about the day-to-day expression of values is essential. Without this, people will be more likely to remain silent or, behind the scenes, make negative judgments and complaints which just further undermine values.
A learning environment needs to be created about values. Two ways to accelerate learning:
(1) Via interpersonal feedback--For example, leaders with authority in organizations have a very powerful mpact by asking for feedback about their own actions in private and public meetings--e.g. "How are my statements and actions impacting you? Am I acting consistent with our values?"
(2) Via team check-ins and feedback--Acknowledging and learning from episodes of imperfection can be celebrated. "If people are willing to engage their own 'violations' in a spirit of personal learning (as opposed to remorse or Mao-era confession) others in the group usualy find they can also make a space that goes beyond recrimination." (Kegan and Lahey, 2001)
This kind of vulnerability is not easy. In fact, Kouzes and Posner report that of the 30 items on their leadership inventory, the lowest observed behavior of leaders is asking for feedback. (Kouzes and Posner, 2007) But, with practice, feedback about the expression of values can be done with art and skill. The benefits for everyone far outweigh the risks of personal embarrassment.