The Virtuous Path from Value [€] to VALUES

1. November 2018

Are we too much focussed on value? Monetary value is at the centre of any valuation process for business or private purpose. Each and every single peace of land, property, material, or immaterial is worth an amount of money. What about VALUES? Is it worth to give up on transforming anything that surrounds us into monetary value? And integrate instead more values for the sake of more meaningfulness?

At the CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) conference held in Zürich on October 4th, I presented how meaningfulness could increase the emotional binding of customers or citizen to a brand in the first hand. Many (not to say all…) of customer experience (CX) activities are based on immediate return on investment (ROI) and the main driving force is data management: having control over customer’s data seems to be the sacred grail every manager is focused on. Programmatic advertising is the end result of Google developments to communicate to customers the right thing at the right time, avoiding unnecessary expenses to catch attention. But customer experience is more than communicating the right thing at the right moment: It‘s also a question of Behavior, isn‘t it?

We have to understand under behaviour its broadest sense. How do a business and its employees behave? The code of conduct is a differentiation factor which is neglected because harder to put in place and we like to rely on hard facts like KPIs. To measure empathy or the real long-term impact of an investment on a social or societal project is much harder than to rely on sales volume linked to a promotion. VALUES is the plural Value, it is definitely more than only transforming material and immaterial things into an amount of money.

Generally speaking, culture is what remains when all else is forgotten. In the same way we can state that VALUES remain when VALUE [money] vanished. The logic tells us that we better concentrate our attention, efforts and energy into values. We should not exclude the value [Money] but find the balance between value and plural value.

Finding the right path from Value [money] to VALUES is finding the way to answer the WHY question: why do we work on this business? What is the sense of purpose of our business? Does it make sense to focus only on short-term profitability, ROI, stakeholder value? Is right or good enough to gamble on the capital market? Which VALUES are attached to our business behaviour?

Most of us would consider the WHY question with a feeling of failure. We fail to drive a business into a virtuous circle where the plural value is at the centre. This despite the fact that the meaningfulness or sense of purpose has a tremendous positive impact: internally on employees and externally on customers. Employees’ behaviour is linked to VALUES that are engraved in its DNA: Lack of VALUES, lack of behaviour. The management has the power to developing VALUES and to focus on more meaningfulness’ commitment. This is an investment that definitely will sustain the long-term financial and societal profitability. Focussing on VALUES means enlarging the strategic view of a business. It is a way to let go on profitability centred activism to rely more on the ecosystem the business is into. It is using the power of a new “ecosystem -thinking” to innovate and find a way to produce a larger sense of purpose for employees and at least customers and citizen.

Focusing on VALUES is the beginning of a virtuous circle that is beneficial for employees and customers, for the society and last but not least for the shareholders. Because the societal engagement of a business has a positive impact on ROI too, on a longer term! It’s not gambling, it’s investing. For Good!

Society.Vision’s business model and approach is one key to take the win-win-win benefits of investing into society. There are big wins for the society, for the employees and for the business!