Value-driven Companies in the Digital Age
Value-driven companies become the backbone of the digital era. But why are values so important? Are they really essential to digital change and growth?
Let’s look at values from the following angles:
- Personal values
- Company values
- Values within an empowered workforce
As human beings, we have all been raised with a certain set of values. Our parents taught us values, our school did, and we also lived by values, which we defined for ourselves. Those values may not always have been explicit. Still, they provided orientation for our actions within certain settings.
Personal values characterize us. They shape who we are, what we do, and who we associate with. Values even shape how we achieve goals, what we reach for in life, and what we try to avoid. Ultimately, your personal set of values is your compass in adult life that matters in both, private and business life.
I have often entered a company building and was instantly confronted with the big company values displayed on the wall. Yet, later at a meeting of that same company, the value “FUN” or “RESPECT” did not really matter any more. Power plays and competition among colleagues seemed more important than fun or respect. This being said, we see a new drive towards finding company values that matter to every single member of the workforce.
Instead of coming from the outside, values should be defined and incorporated jointly with the workforce. They should come from within the human being and the organization. Questions like the following and open conversations around these questions can help with that:
- What are my personal 3 core values?
- How do those values link to the firm’s values?
- How can we live those values as a team / as a business unit / as leaders within the firm?
3.Values within an empowered workforce
Being a value-driven company is great. Yet, it is not enough. Every value has an opposite value, e.g., having “adaptability“ as value might imply that stability is a bad thing. Therefore, a value-driven firm, especially in the context of the digital era with its fast pace, should also imply being a firm that empowers its workforce. Empowered people act upon their personal values in alignment with the company values, if need be. They also know, when to reflect upon the various sides of the “coin”. They are empowered to re-phrase the values, if need be. They choose dialogue over an argument, if there is a misunderstanding with colleagues and peers, and they do not push a single-sided view of a fixed value definition.
What is your experience with value-driven firms?
Can you recommend any approaches to defining values for the firm?
Feel free to comment and share your amazing experiences. Every insight matters!
About the author:
Dr. Martina Dopfer is CEO & Co-Founder of mynd:way. We offer mindful learning journeys for employees, leaders, teams, and organizations.
Martina has a PhD in economics from the University of St. Gallen and is a startup- and mindfulness coach. Over the past 10 years, she has accumulated her digital expertise through working in online marketing startups, in the digital units of large corporate firms and as a consultant for digital business model innovations.
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