There’s a lot of talk around businesses about the importance of organisational Values, and a great deal of work is undertaken to define them and implement programmes to reinforce them. Sadly, often, much of this work is wasted because critical ground work is not done to establish the starting point from which a coherent Values set is developed, i.e. “where are we now? If we are not brutally honest about what the Values are today, then it is close to impossible to start the journey of defining and building your new Values.
There is a danger that talk of Values can sound idealistic or even sanctimonious or pompous. At Dashboard we will aim to avoid that.
First off what are Values? There are many variations of the definition but briefly Values can be defined as:
The operating philosophies or principles that guide an organisation’s internal conduct as well as its relationships with its customers, partners and shareholders
It’s crucial to understand that Values are what you actually do and not what you say or would like to think you do. Furthermore it’s what you do when you are under pressure not just when everything is going well; and that is tough.
At Dashboard we are at an early stage of development and so have the one off opportunity to establish “how we do things around here” without having to undo years of divergent behaviour. Even so we still have to be very clear how we want to operate and then build systems, structures, policies and procedures aligned with those aims.
One thing for sure is that the beliefs and behaviours that define Values have to be exhibited by the leadership of the organisation and we are committed to ensuring that everyone who works with Dashboard, be that employee, customer, investor or government body, understands how we operate. We will aim to ensure that every aspect of the business is aligned behind these values.
So how do we want to run the business? Our personal beliefs will shape the answer to that question and we will strive to run our business where the following apply:
- We are Open, Honest and exhibit high levels of Integrity in all that we do. That can be challenging as we will not flinch from being straight forward in all our dealings. This openness is not to be confused with breaching legitimate confidentiality.
- We will show a “can do” attitude and display Flexibility and Responsiveness in the face of rapidly changing circumstances.
- We will offer Fair Value in all our dealings, with customers, suppliers and employees alike.
- Accountability is critical, we own our responsibilities, but equally we understand that things can go wrong and we do not equate accountability with blame, which has no place in the business. We own up, address the issue and move on.
- Collaboration and Sharing will be characteristics of the business because we believe that problems and challenges are better dealt with by working with colleagues and partners rather than in isolation.
- We believe that Courage is the cornerstone of much of what will allow us to succeed. This means challenging poor behaviour, taking informed risks and making decisions that need to be made despite any consequent discomfort.
- Innovation will drive new products and services and secure a successful long term future. These innovations can come from any area of the business.
- Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom and there is no place for boasting, big egos and self-importance. Everybody has an important role to play and will be respected for their contribution.
Over time Dashboard will build an organisation that incorporates these Values. Our conversations, programmes, policies and procedures will reflect them as far as possible in order to create alignment and a sense of common purpose.
As we develop the business the emphasis on these values will shift but they will remain core to the way we do business.