We spend a great deal of time talking about the ideal situation – where the owner’s vision and values are built into the business from day one. But what do you do when a company has grown and has lost touch with their original values?
They may have strayed slowly by starting to overemphasize outcomes at the expense of the underlying beliefs. Or they may simply have seen them diluted as a result of staff turnover or growth. Or they may have abandoned their business values in the name of beating out increasing competition.
How a company gets to this point is irrelevant. What comes next is highly relevant. This organization has 2 options:
- They can continue on the current path with the outcome being an eventual implosion of some sort (fraud, business failure, struggle, etc.) Note, the timeline for this outcome is variable, it could be days or decades, but with no change in course, it is inevitable.
- They can survey current employees to benchmark where they stand now and then work together to re-identify and re-implement business values and company belief systems (a large part of the internal brand).
The process of rebuilding and instituting a values based culture is not a panacea. It will not work instantly, and it will not cure all ills. Sales people still need to have basic sales skills; accountants still need to understand debits and credits; leadership still needs to have a vision and a plan to achieve it.
This process will unify all the pieces of the organization and provide a rallying point that employees can understand and implement. Done correctly, it will not only stabilize the organization, it will also differentiate your company in the market place (i.e. create a brand) and attract customers to you.
Given the alternative, what is there to lose?