From the inception of any business, adopting a set of core values is a powerful exercise. Through codified core values, a business can decide the sort of work culture it desires between colleagues and employees. With the help of concise, clear, and powerful values, businesses can adopt a principled and positive stance on most ethical dilemmas. In a nutshell, core values are the foundational pillars that define the organizational culture of a business.
Although core values are sacrosanct and should never be violated, there can be instances in the growth trajectory of a business where it might outgrow the values it set forth in its inception. In this situation, executives can find themselves in a troubling situation: they need to decide whether to reorchestrate the values from the beginning, make some alterations, or stay the course. Let us evaluate these considerations.
Should business values never change?
Some business professionals have spent lengths to stress the importance of unwavering values. To them, these ideas are sacred and should be set in stone during the early stages of a business or company. They believe that these values form the DNA of a business and should never be altered, regardless of the circumstances.
Though there is a degree of truth value to these claims, it is still important to evaluate the flipside of this position. All organizations, companies, and businesses are dynamic entities: they undergo constant change. Whenever you hire a new employee, rebrand the company image, adopt a new marketing technique, or undertake a promising project, the culture within the company experiences flux. Regardless of what is etched in the company’s core values document, the interaction of employees or work culture experiences change whenever the company pivots itself along a new trajectory.
The importance of having dynamic core values
Having top-down enforcement of core values can disrupt the work-culture of an organization. The workplace culture is a direct representation of how people are working together, and what goals are they aligned with. This means that most companies develop a working culture organically, without the need of enforcing strict core values culture. To makes sure that you develop a work culture that takes all stakeholders on board, there needs to be flexibility.
This mercurial element of core values is most evident in startups. The startup culture has revolutionized the way people perceive a business. A single idea has the potential to send down seismic shifts and startups have harnessed this potential. The most important aspect of a successful startup is the ability to adjust to changing work dynamics.
Most employees in a startup have the freedom to speak their hearts out if they feel uncomfortable with a rigid organizational practice. This not only makes the employees feel valued, but it also increases their creative freedom. Startups are known for their innovative spirit, and to truly set the creative mind free, the organization and its working values need to be adjustable.
This does not mean that there should be no transcendental principles that guide the employees to work in a specific manner. Whenever there is a shift in values, the top brass of a company needs to ensure that they stay in place for a couple of years so that the employees can find their footing.
Values aren’t just a document that needs to be read by every employee before they sign a contract. Rather they should actively guide the conduct of employees in the workplace. Some of your finding core values might never change, but at the same time, there is always room for flexibility. As your company grows, make sure that you reorient the working principles and make them compatible with the growth trajectory.