Among the frenzied voices of the current Brexit maelstrom it is common to hear MPs referencing British Values – whatever they think these might be.
These are politicians basing arguments on a nebulous set of priorities which, in their eyes, define the British nation and bind its peoples together.
Many others think the whole notion of British Values is nonsensical.
In such a diverse country, how can there be any kind of consensus about what it believes to be most important to itself as a nation?
Whatever your views on it all, one thing is apparent – Britain is a divided country.
And the current political debates would indicate that it is more divided than it has ever been.
And now look at the USA. Despite that nation’s much lauded constitution and its sacred amendments, these are states that do not seem, in these times, to be united by very much at all.
The UK and the USA – both nations in a state of flux and unsure of who they are and where they are going.
What then, is the point of core values? Can these ever be more than empty words on paper?
Well yes they can, as the corporate sector continues to demonstrate.
The companies best at adapting to change are those that can clearly define themselves in a competitive business environment.
These organisations have a sense of who they are and what they stand for – and this is often derived from an understanding of who they are not.
This clear understanding extends to how they view their markets.
Companies with clear and accurate core values don’t just pitch to existing markets.
They use their understanding of their own culture to create and and then refine these markets.
This is how they can then go on to create solutions to solve problems which have not yet been identified.
Solutions looking for problems, yes – but also solutions capable of creating new markets.
This is a kind of entrepreneurialism that is truly exciting. And it is only possible if there is at first, a clear and close definition of the business USP, core culture and core values.
Why do some companies founder in the face of new market challenges, while others demonstrate the flexibility to adapt?
It is because the ones that founder draw their values, their raison d’être, entirely from their markets.
Because these organisations are driven by their markets, they are entirely at their mercy.
So when market conditions change, it is often too late for them to engage on any kind process of self-discovery or self-definition.
Companies that thrive on market change can do so because they have been participators in that change process.
And they have only been able to do this because they know very clearly who they are, what they stand for and what is most important to them.
This self-knowledge and appreciation is kinetic; integrated into continuous self-evaluation processes.
This is really what I enjoy most – working with businesses to review, develop and articulate the very essence of who they are.
In my next post I will outline what is involved in developing core company values to underpin marketing strategy.
Contact me if you’d like to discuss this further.