04 May Do you value your Business Values?
Team Lichfield captain Andy Chell looks at how true we are being to our business values as we go through unprecedented times with Covid-19.
Every few years, our economy goes through turbulent times. Now I will admit, what we are currently going through is like no other period that I have lived through, but we will get through this, we will come out the other end.
Business is going to change. Fact. The way we used to work is gone, we will get used to a new way of working. I have used Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Jitsi, Hangouts more now than ever. And do you know what, I’ve learned that they work. OK, being in a face to face environment is better for the tactile moments and they do not suit every business, but as a way of conducting business, they are fine.
All business owners start their business with a plan, an idea. That could come from a burning ambition to change the world or to do something better, but they had a plan. That plan would have been driven by a set of values, something that the business stands for. Generally, values are driven from fears or insecurities and in my coaching conversations with clients, I nearly always find that this is the case. But in a lot of cases, I then find that as the business grows, the values become somewhat diluted. What was once the driving factor behind the inspiration to form the business simply becomes something written on the wall in reception but does not really mean anything.
I spoke to a great business Associate of mine and Team Lichfield advocate, Dave Purkiss, who owns More Than Just Design. He says that in the life cycle of any business, there is generally a pivot point, a point where the business reinvents itself. I totally agree with this and change is not a dirty word. It is not an admission of failure, but comes from effectively horizon scanning and adapting to suit.
It is vital to revisit the values of the business during such times as we are now experiencing. More people are working from home, so business leaders need to be able to trust their teams much more. They need to create a culture of psychological safety, where every team member feels inspired to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their own workload. It is time to re-look at the values of the business and see if leaders are still being true to them.
Have a think about this. Some of you reading may be old enough to remember Enron, the energy company employing nearly 22,000 people who went bust in 2000. Directors of Enron were sent to prison for fraud. Enron’s actions were shown to be unethical, and yet their values were Communication, Respect, Integrity, Excellence. Were they true to their values? Did their values underpin their working practices?
Whilst this is an extreme example, it is vital in these times that we stay true to our values. But not just that, leaders need to keep communicating the values to all team members and also model their behaviour that is in line with the core values. Now more than ever, team members need to understand the purpose of the organisation and have confidence that their individual contribution is making a difference to the purpose of the organisation.
If you would like to have a conversation about the values of your business, please give Andy a call on 07398 989345 or drop me an email. You’ll see that he lives and breathes the values of his business and he can help you to rediscover yours.