“Business leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values in sight, and aligning your business to be congruent with them.” (Stephen Covey)
A story about the hidden value of Values-driven business.
Several years ago I got to a low point in my business. Energy was low, motivation was low- so close to complete burnout in fact that I was forced to take a break and reflect on this new painful state of affairs. How had I gotten to this point from my heady excited beginnings?
Here is a picture of me at the start. Ok well it’s not actually me but that’s how I FELT. Full of hope and excitement and ENERGY.
Where did I lose my way? Was I going to be able to continue and if yes, what needed to change?
It was a January holiday, I remember. Often holidays are a time when we finally have some space to think deeper than where the next dollar is coming from.
I sat down with my trusty journal and some silence to write until an answer came.
And after much soul searching it came to me: …
In the frantic rush to make a living, I had forgotten what makes me tick and keeps my “inner fire” alight. I wasn’t inspired anymore because my days had become all about- more sales, more sales, more sales. I had forgotten why I got into business in the first place- my cherished values and an inspiring vision to make a difference.
I set about writing down all the things that matter most to me (my values) and creating a vision that would excite me into the next decade, the below is what I came up with. I still get excited every time I read it 😊
Here’s to you and your cherished values and your most exciting vision for your business.
1. WE SERVE
Our primary purpose is to serve and support our clients, consultants, staff and other stakeholders to succeed and grow.
2. WE ARE ETHICAL AT ALL TIMES
At all times, and in all contexts, we aim to earn the trust of those we come into contact with by conducting ourselves with integrity, honesty and through seeking the best solution for all parties concerned – regardless of personal gain.
3. WE PURSUE EXCELLENCE
We identify, uphold and promote excellence and best practice in all areas of ICS and other businesses and the community through the promotion of people into roles best suited to their strengths, skills and interest.
4. WE HAVE A POSITIVE CULTURE
We focus on strengths and solutions. We are not fault-finders. We identify mistakes and deal with problems constructively with an eye to better systems, information and training rather than personal blame. We welcome feedback, new ideas and suggestions for improvement and encourage each other to take responsibility for solution generation. We foster generosity, the sharing of resources and a mutual support of each other. We seek the company of likeminded, passionate, enthusiastic people who get genuine enjoyment from their work and making a difference in the lives of others and the planet.
5. LESS IS MORE – WE BELIEVE IN INTEGRATED, EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS
We aim to reduce volume and complexity, simplify, streamline, eliminate the unnecessary, reduce duplication and integrate requirements into a single methodology. We continually looking for new ways to alleviate compliance related workload and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes.
6. WE MAKE A CONTRIBUTION
WE FOSTER EQUALITY, DIGNITY AND RESPECT
WE PROMOTE AND SUPPORT ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
We strive to be an organisation that recognises each person’s unique value and appreciate and foster the strengths of our team. We acknowledge the right of everyone (regardless of race, age, gender, sexual preference, religion, race or circumstances) to be safe, treated with respect and dignity, and to have access to a minimum level of healthcare, housing and food. ICS seeks to support standards and businesses fostering a corporate social responsibility and sustainable development philosophy
7. WE THRIVE ON INNOVATION, LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
We constantly strive to stay abreast of the latest developments in our industry, share knowledge generously and foster innovative ideas. We seek first to understand, and then design effective systems and solutions built on a deep understanding of the needs and issues of relevant stakeholders. Utilising the best of cutting edge technology and ideas, we will deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions for SMEs.
8. WE LIVE AND BREATHE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT,
PRODUCTIVITY, PERSONAL AND BUSINESS GROWTH
We continually seek to improve the way we operate by requesting feedback and being alert to more efficient and effective means of conducting every facet of our business. Applying 80/20 and other tools to identify the most leveraged solutions, processes and choices we prioritise interventions according to risk and degree of influence on customer satisfaction. We respond promptly to complaints and aim to prevent the reoccurrence of problems. We determine measurable strategic and personal goals which are aligned with our Vision and Values and monitor the progress of these on a monthly basis.