Today, the current contexts of high adaptive complexity, uncertainty and hypercompetitiveness. customers will become increasingly demanding not only of quality but also of warmth, the bosses must evolve from "command and command" to being facilitators of processes,, employees will have to evolve from bureaucratic compliance to responsible freedom or “empowerment”, and the organizational structures will have to evolve inexorably from the classic “rake” military model to other more organic or molecular forms, as living systems are organized in nature.
The techno-structural paradigm still prevalent in the business world is excessively prosaic, normative and sad, being very limited to give full emotional and ethical meaning to high-performance human action, today necessary in competitive environments of high adaptive complexity.
The Directorate for Values (DpV) goes beyond the Direction by Objectives (DpO) of the seventies and the Direction for Instructions (DpI) or "Scientific Organization of Labor" of the beginning of the last century to respond to the current challenge of moving efficiently, ethically and emotionally developed in a context of increasing competitiveness, which requires high levels of performance, trust, commitment and creativity by all the people who make up the company.
The Directorate for Values is a new proposal for the management of companies of a humanistic and inclusive nature, which is based on different approaches and theories and, in fact, is in its early stages of application coherence. In any case, it is far from a "fashion of management”More or less ephemeral and alternative to others.
All organizations of all time have been guided or governed by values: those of each of them at every moment of their evolution. The mafia is run by values. Chinese communism-capitalism is driven by values.
Just like the Church or the army. Arthur Andersen and Enron were driven by values. The President of the United States of America claims to run the country by values. Even Al Qaeda is run by values. The organization of Father Vicente Ferrer is also governed by values, of a very different character from the previous ones.
Sometimes these values are explicitly declared, as is the case with most large companies. In others, the majority float in the environment or, technically speaking, in the "climate" of the organization. And, in any case, there is not always a close coherence between the values that are declared and those that are actually observed and breathed in organizations, thus constituting their true axiological capital or heritage of cultural values accumulated over time.
Thus, for example, in a typical Chinese factory of emerging capitalism, the routine and exhausting days of hyperproductive work are stimulated by more or less explicit but perfectly instilled values of obedience, sacrifice, industry, precision, patience, love for the client, discipline, order, unity or "flourishing of the nation". Associated with them, it is more than likely that there is an intense and important mix of values and dissatisfactions among the new Chinese rich, such as greed, demonstration of worth, patriotic pride, enthusiasm at the possibility of unlimited enrichment, etc.
Values that hardly govern the Chinese productive system are trust, freedom of expression, joy, participation or, "simply", having time to live. We could say that this is a "direction by values by instructions", clearly based on the military paradigm of descending hierarchical control that shaped the minds of hundreds of millions of Chinese during the decades of iron communism and "cultural revolution".
Unexpectedly, the values of Mao's communism set the conditions for the main competitive threat to savage western capitalism: the Chinese capitalist dictatorship.
From the consciously naive perspective of the Directorate for Values (DvV), it is urgent that we innovate sensible capitalism, beyond the current glimpses of "sustainable" capitalism and, of course, far beyond the still excessively wild capitalism that prevails on the planet. Earth.
The term "Management by Values" (DpV) applied to business management was coined at the end of the last century, in 1997, by professors Salvador García and Shimon Dolan in Barcelona, the same year as their North American colleagues Ken Blanchard and Michael O'Connor in San Francisco, several years before the talk of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) began to be spoken in the world. Other authors who have proposed the same concept are Hall and Tonna in 2001 and Fernandez Aguado that same year.
In practice, the authentic Management for Values (not the advertising elaboration of some posters or some striking phrases on the company's website) is, in our experience, a project that is as participatory as possible, made up of different phases of high demand for commitment:
According to the model that García and Dolan call "triaxial", it is about achieving a good balance between three classes of values:
- Usually prevailing but never sufficiently developed economic, control or 'praxic' values (eg simplicity, adaptability or results orientation)
- Emotional, developmental, "poetic" values", creative or generative (eg creativity, enjoyment of what is done or warmth), abusively and wrongly denied or belittled on many occasions from the pragmatic efficiency perspective
- Ethical values (eg dignity, authenticity or social responsibility), integrating them with normality with economic and emotional values, without enclosing them in separate codes and without considering them a category, much less alien to the core of the productive business. Even coming to consider them as the central axis around which conduct in the company must revolve, both control and development
Management by Values is something like the Constitution or ideological framework of the company, which must guide behavior and strategic everyday. Of course, later on, the strategic objectives, the organizational structure, the different projects with its corresponding objectives, the work processes and the underlying information systems, as well as the specific behavioral competences to carry out each of the functions within the company.
The core meta-value of the Directorate for Values is trust or "belief in", the antidote for it not to degenerate into a coercive and closed sectarian system is freedom, and the critical conditions for it to become reality are coherence, integrity and courage.
The DpV essentially aims to:
- The balance between the economic health, emotional health and ethical health of the company, thus generating greater internal happiness, a greater competitive advantage in the market and a greater contribution to a better world.
- Participatively build an exciting and ethical idea of where we are going, for what and with what commitment to the rules of the game.
- Humanize the company, in the sense of considering people as ends to be promoted and not as mere “human resources to be optimized”
- Strengthen the legitimacy, cohesion and credibility of the property and the management team of the company before themselves, before their collaborators and before society as a whole.
The proposal of a "Management by Values" is emerging strongly - and with not a few challenges of coherence - in many contexts around the planet.
In short, it can be understood from different dimensions:
- A tool for strategic direction and unconventional participatory leadership for the construction of companies that we can call “eutopic”, located between humanist utopia and economic pragmatism.
- A certain consulting methodology to help build the final (vision-mission) and instrumental values of the company.
- A way of understanding both life and business and life based on trust and that tries to harmonize economic values with ethical values and emotional values.
- A state of moral conscience that the person must be the end of all fully legitimate business activity, the economic benefit being a means of development, as well as the consequence of doing things well with people, whether they are employees, customers, suppliers or citizens in general.
- A proposal for evolution from a conventional organizational culture of control-oriented values towards a new culture of development values for people.
- A warning of the need to balance the utilitarian techno-economic "control values" (efficiency, optimization, order, results, speed, etc.) with the incorporation of "development values" and the liberation of talent that are equally or more essential as generators of wealth, such as enthusiasm, flexibility, creativity, openness, warmth, or generosity. And all this revolving around the axis of basic and essential values for the legitimation and maintenance of said wealth: the ethical axis, made up of values such as transparency, honesty, dignity, solidarity or respect.
- A humanistic approach to building authentic, stable and socially legitimate companies, beyond transitory opportunistic businesses
- The organizational dimension of a Sensitive Capitalism driven by entrepreneurs with solidarity values.
- A strategic leadership tool to create the soul of new companies (to “cheer up”) or to revitalize (to “revive”) or to give a new utilitarian, intrinsic and transcendent meaning to projects business in maturity, anticipating its devitalization and decline.
In short, The Values Management is an opportunity to freely commit, to give full meaning to the effort of a job well done and to generate economic, ethical and emotional health.
Article published by: Salvador García, professor at the University of Barcelona (UB)
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