The Value of Corporate Values
When most people join a new company, or take a new role, they get excited about the responsibilities, challenges and developments ahead for them. Values of the company they are joining end up being priority number 2. I’m thinking, we might need to re-examine the value of corporate values.
How many organisations today follow and respect their established corporate values? How do we measure the relationship between values and business performance? And most importantly, do values assist in establishing best practices?
These are a few questions that are shaping the way businesses behave nowadays. Not only are companies explicitly displaying their values, but also are engaging in managerial efforts to portray them. I can think of a few examples: workshop activity to teach about the company’s core values, conversations with organisational experts to address the importance of values and hiring people with similar ethical and value-driven managerial styles.
Pfizer’s CFO, David Shedlarz found that:
Generally, companies follow the same ‘values cycle’: they articulate a set of corporate values and attempt to embed them in management practices, which they hope will reinforce behaviours that benefit the company and communities inside and outside the firm, and which in turn strengthen the institution’s values.
We, Kerridge and Partners, recently defined our own corporate values. This exercise took a few weeks and we all got the opportunity to share memorable stories we experienced within our workplace. Good and not-so-good stories were shared and we started to identify a few commonalities between the different experiences.
Because I believe in growing under a difficult situation, I will use the not-so-good examples.
The not-so-good situations we handled with grace and courage. Plus, we got the opportunity to come close as a business and found that working together was the best way forward. Furthermore, under difficult circumstances we realised the opportunities for innovation.
From these we took our “value-lessons” and decided to create a chart: a visual aid to help us see and remember what we stand for. And from italics to…
We know it takes more than a chart and words to exhibit great behaviour. We know it takes people to drive values and that actions speak louder than words. So, while it’s helpful to have words stuck on the wall, it is for each of us to translate them into actions.
Head of Research, Associate Consultant
Kerridge & Partners