Sunday, May 25, 2014

Change Management Debate: Can the Business Core-Values Change?

Core values and strategic direction are intrinsically bounded.

“Corporate value is the operating philosophies or principles that guide an organization's internal conduct as well as its relationship with its customers, partners, and shareholders. Core values are usually summarized in the mission statement or in the company’s statement of core values.” (Business Dictionary).

More specifically, there are social and strategic core values, both are important, social core values can evolve; strategic core values can evolve or change. Some continuity midst of change remains a golden rule to avoid internal and external disarray. An interesting change management debate could be: Can the business core-values change?

The social core values concern some basics behaviors like respect, integrity, clarity, and collaborationAll these are interlinked and interdependent and must be evident from the top and throughout the organization. Together they become the guiding principles that will deliver shared and sustained success. They are “the way we do things ‘round here”, and they are implemented by the teams and by their networks. The leadership must emphasize, role-model, and commend good behaviors. They are among the intangible resources of the enterprise, important but difficult to assess.
-Respect for the customer, co-workers, and for what we do in a safe and respectful environment.
-Integrity means honesty as well as the constant and honest evaluation of risk versus reward of a decision's impact on the stability, soundness, and strength of an organization.
-Clarity means a clear, constant, and reinforced communication of the values, goals, and objectives. Are we all on the same page?
-Collaboration means to be able to have a cross-functional corporation to make the job well done.

The strategic core values concern behaviors needed to support the strategy and that integrate business models: Such as vision and market forces, mission, and means, as well as fundamental success factors. Unlike the critical success factors that apply to a particular project, the fundamental success factors apply to all facets of the business. You would associate the fundamental success factors with the strategic core values, specific behaviors that are always important to succeed in the strategies. It would be easier to manage if the core values are discovered first then the direction of strategy is decided.

The core values can and do change in organizations - but not easily. Changes in leadership can bring about a change however the real test of change is how it is more involved and complex than just changing the core values after the new leadership team takes control. Getting buy-in from the stakeholders is extremely important, and surely you shouldn’t downplay that component of the change process. The chaos theory suggests there are ripple effects that occur when change happens. One way to overcome the challenges of change is to follow a Plan of Action (PA). The key is that it should change for the benefit of people and keep pace with the challenges of changing times. Organizational values should be made explicit and better means should be devised to evaluate how actual results comport with them. Indeed, it might be more effective to infer and report apparent values based upon behavior and particularly the results it generates. Making changes within an organization can be argued as a needed element in business practice, but only if there is proper planning. Changing or evaluating core values is more than a simple action that can be accomplished through good communication and achieving buy-in because there is a new organizational driver. Spending time designing a PA for integrating the new core value could be identified as an often overlooked, but important start in the change process. Additionally, incorporating key personnel into the change process requires management to conduct an in-depth examination of who really has serious control in the organization. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Core values and strategic direction are intrinsically boundIf the firm must change its strategic direction, are its core values sustaining the new direction? If not, changing core values should be well managed through the right change management. Collectively defining what those values mean in practice, putting them into practice, then measuring and publishing the results is how to inculcate a set of strong core values. It isn't easy to change organizational values and culture, but it can be done. Core values are correctly used when the top executive is aware of the definition of direction and mobilization of resources; it’s the necessity of being a good leader and not merely a good manager.

The correlation between core value and culture of the business. If you really want to know a firm's core values, watch how they respond to a crisis. That is when the culture turns up. It is possible for the leadership with the support to instill in the organization a new core value, but it doesn't happen if it’s not congruent with the mission and direction and not supported by their entire management team - all of which is not easy. Good to know that an initiative is being run of maintaining a repository of core-values of companies. It will definitely help organizations, working, or intend to work on continents. as there is a big difference between ‘espoused values’ (what is said) and lived values (what is actually done in practice).

The core is the core, it takes the time to change the core values of an organization, shows methods to help direct the way people think, the way people behave, and the way people act. Do not forget the impact that the systems of the management, the structures of the organization can have on the management of the strategy fundamentals, and of the style of the leadership.


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