Values in Business must be transparent
The way you provide your product or service and to whom, says more about you than how much business you do. Being big in a highly segmented world is no longer the determination of success. How you do your business now determines your current credibility and future success. Credibility is as much about your values in becoming successful as about the success you have. Mohamed Al-Fayed for example, despite buying Harrods, never shook off questions about his background.
Your values as an organisation as demonstrated by everyone inside your organisation matter to both existing and potential customers in choosing to do future business with you. People have choices and they can now exercise them more freely than ever before, and that means customers can access information instantly and make choices that are more informed. Examples such as Ikea’s staff misinforming undercover Times reporters about their sustainable and certified sourced products at a number of shops are one symptom of Ikea’s rapid growth boardroom culture, allowing the core value of trust to suffer.
Values Must Live in the Moment
Almost everything in life is in today’s world is in real-time and instantly communicated to circles of ever increasing influence and far beyond. A restaurant having bad night can have a poor reputation before the starter has even been cleared away, as customers post live feed back to sites such as Qype or Trip Advisor. Therefore, before the waiter, maitre d’ or chef knows what’s happening the world outside, potential customers already do through instant social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook and are cancelling their reservations in droves.
Why clean lavatories matter?
The old adage that if you want to know how clean the restaurant kitchen is, inspect the lavatories! This is because they tell you how the restaurant values cleanliness, is a great example of modern customer awareness of living values. Do you live your values or just post them on your website? Is the question customers want to know in establishing and experiencing trust with you, and your brand.
Rail companies learning fast
A recent story of the man on the train talking too loudly causing enraged customers to Tweet complaints about his behaviour which was picked up by a duty manager hundreds of miles away who then contacted train’s conductor to track down the loud caller and asked him to quieted down.
This story is very much testimony to the growing demands of customer expectations, immediate online response, not waiting for passing train staff to react. This story is part of the reputation shift that train companies are actively pursuing to listen and understand customer’s real needs and expectations.
Values in Business must be owned and lived from the top.
The values that a business lives really matter to customers and to the brand reputation. Values are not bland statements in brochures, websites or company walls, but living attributes in how people behave (even when no-one is looking). Values start at the top, and must be owned, lived and driven by the leadership of an organisation. It is no-one else’s responsibility but the leadership’s to ensure they establish, spread and re-enforce those values throughout their people.
Learn more about strategy and how to build yours in your business, click here
or on the book below.
Strategy: The Leader’s Role by Richard Gourlay