Modern business is slowly responding the UN goals and every country and even company seem to have at least one goal linked to the UN scorecards. The challenges are nevertheless to put it all to act in a sustainable way, in creating an accountable culture for the collective future.
The global technological opportunities have accelerated as more powerful digital solutions and the capacity to override any of the previous solutions are demonstrated. Technology enabled business leaders to consciously build teams to meet these challenges and transform the business into a new way of operating. We see tech disruptions, putting some companies out of business, and we welcome new startups that make our lives in the corporate world a lot easier. There seems to be an increasingly need to rethink how business prioritize not only what to do, but how to work with each other and what to prioritize and reprioritize. Business is more than ever based on relationships.
The need to be tapping the human innovative minds, lead in new ways and engage people to work in more agile solutions relevant for their organizations are known. The need to have quality relationships and values driven processes seem clear. Businesses with a capability to develop their human capital will be the survivors. The need to create new solutions, platforms and processes to find solutions in the digital age will not only depend on the digital. The people involved will be the breaking point.
Knowing all this, what values would you design your culture around? What would be the right aspired values for your business going forward? That will have to be customized to make a strategic fit. More focus have recently been turned to Conscious Capitalism. For a culture, that means not only measuring success as financial performance, but to have goals for the culture and environmental dimension in addition.
Based on our work with surveying corporate culture in the Nordics, there seem to be five values that stand out as significantly more relevant now than before, based on both investments, research, media and leaders dialogues:
1. Accountability – the willingness to be responsible for what is expected in a holistic way.
2. Synergy – the ability to not only collaborate, but make sure the collaborations create results.
3. Authenticity – the ability to act in line with your values and be who you say you are.
4. Empowerment – the ability to delegate and give people freedom to act.
5. Courage – the ability to overcome personal barriers to achieve goals.
Future business culture must be designed to fit the strategy, and be powered by the same follow-up as financial and market goals. To implement the future values in your culture, start with knowing what your actual culture really is. Challenge your leadership team in a strategy workshop to define your right aspired culture. Action plans to make all people accountable for building the aspired culture are strategic HR work. The success factors are leaders who are able and willing to follow up, by making it possible for people to shift their values in alignment to the aspired culture. After all, businesses don’t change, they change when people do. That accounts for culture goals to equal financial goals in your next strategy document and the next leadership workshop! That is your valid ticket to a more conscious and sustainable business.