Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle
All of us have some core values that guide our actions and omissions everyday. For example, all of us have strong values on political and religion issues that determine how we react on some issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and so on
There are “personal values” and “business values” as well. The last ones define our actions when we conduct our work everyday
Would you lie to a customer? Sometimes? Have we ever thought what would happen if we decide to never lie to a customer, and your customers know that? This is just a possible core value you can practice
Some valuable organizations have found that to define explicitly and to promote their “core values” helps them to create a brand, which creates an important real estate position inside of our customer's mind
These are some examples:
|Intel Corporation||Intel Values||The phase “Roger Rabit Gets Quality CDs” is used to help employees to memorize the corporate values (hint: RRGQCD)|
Sometimes the values are not explicitly recognized as “core values”, but they still are strong enough to stop an executive decision that's against it
For example, I found the tacit value “never to run away from a project under contract at the Costa Rican branch of Unisys.com, even if the project is losing money”. Their customers are sure that they will never be abandoned if they make business with Unisys — and Unisys charges a premium for that, of course
The SEMCO Management Model
The Brazilian Grupo SEMCO bases his business on these values:
- Be serious and trusted company
- Value honesty and transparency above momentary interests
- Search for the balance between short and long term profit
- Offer fair prices for our products and services and be the best in the market
- Provide diversified services to clients, putting our responsibilities above profit
- Stimulate creativity, prizing people who take risks
- Incentivize participation and question decisions imposed from the top down
- Preserve and informal environment with professionalism and without preconception
- Maintain safe working conditions and control the industrial process to protect the environment
- Be humble and recognize mistakes, knowing that there is always room for improvement
Personal Values — David Arturo Chaves
I conduct my professional live according to the following values:
- Discipline: Commitment to finish completely everything we start
- Organization: Having all resources available at the beginning of everything we start
- Continuous self-improvement: Never-ending improvement of everything we do every day; also known as “education” or “non-complacency”
In the other side, the Roman writer and orator Cicero practiced the values of “objectivity”, “honesty”, “independent thought”, and “giving back to one's community”, just to name a few
The following sections will show some examples of core values, in order to explain them better
Discipline: Covey on 7ths Habits and The 8th Habit
Discipline is the commitment to finish completely everything we start
Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that values govern people’s behaviour, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence:
- Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Vision
- Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Leadership
- Put First Things First: Principles of Personal Management
- Think Win/Win: Principles of Interpersonal Leadership
- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Empathetic Communication
- Synergize: Principles of Creative Communication
- Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal
In The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness he adds a 8th habit:
Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs…
Continuous self-improvement: William Edwards Deming's “System of Profound Knowledge”
Continuous self-improvement is never-ending improvement of everything we do every day; also known as “education” or “non-complacency”
The “System of Profound Knowledge” of William Edwards Deming is a very good comprehension of “quality” as a value:
Transforming our Effectiveness
- Create constancy of purpose for the improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business, and provide jobs.
- Adopt a new philosophy of cooperation (win-win) in which everybody wins and put it into practice by teaching it to employees, customers and suppliers.
- Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Instead, improve the process and build quality into the product in the first place.
- End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost in the long run. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, based on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
- Improve constantly, and forever, the system of production, service, planning, of any activity. This will improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs.
- Institute training for skills.
- Adopt and institute leadership for the management of people, recognizing their different abilities, capabilities, and aspiration. The aim of leadership should be to help people, machines, and gadgets do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers.
- Drive out fear and build trust so that everyone can work more effectively.
- Break down barriers between departments. Abolish competition and build a win-win system of cooperation within the organization. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and use that might be encountered with the product or service.
- Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets asking for zero defects or new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
- Eliminate numerical goals, numerical quotas and management by objectives. Substitute leadership.
- Remove barriers that rob people of joy in their work. This will mean abolishing the annual rating or merit system that ranks people and creates competition and conflict.
- Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
- Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.
Seven Deadly Diseases
- Lack of constancy of purpose.
- Emphasis on short-term profits.
- Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.
- Mobility of management.
- Running a company on visible figures alone.
- Excessive medical costs.
- Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees.
A Lesser Category of Obstacles
- Neglect of long-range planning.
- Relying on technology to solve problems.
- Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions.
- Excuses such as ''Our problems are different.''
Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things
- Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
- Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
- Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
- Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
- Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
- Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
- Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
- Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
- Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
- Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
- Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
- Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Organization: Sun Tzu's “The Art of War”
Organization is having all resources available at the beginning of everything we start
By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.
The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.
Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting signs and signals.