ATS, Values-Based Management

This can be one of the most complex management goals, but it is also true that guiding oneself by values in the decision-making process is highly motivating and that it produces tangible changes.

Values-Based Management (VBM) is the determination to promote and verify that daily decisions and actions are adjusted to certain values chosen as guiding principles. Some people discuss whether values are real or ideal, whether they represent what one is or what one wants to be. In fact, if the values defined by ATS are taken as an example, it is impossible to assume that everyone always acts ”with 100/% openness, agility and authenticity”. But assuming the challenge of focusing one’s conduct in this direction is highly motivating.

In this manner, when at the beginning of a conversation or in the middle of a conflict, the question is brought up: Am I listening to what happens to others, am I receptive to the client’s needs? Am I saying what I really think, accounting for my statements in a responsibile manner? Otherwise, what is preventing me from doing so? What should I, or the company, change to be able to act upon chosen values? Do people choose the risk of being transparent in business in order to muster trust? Are people acting as required under the circumstances? Are people prepared to understand and take in the new or different things that the environment is presenting them with? Implementing a VBM is a process that begins with the study of the existing values within the company and a determination of whether they conform to a strategy. This also implies a diagnosis of the gap existing between what the company considers to be a value and what is still to be developed. In which contexts is it more difficult to be open? With whom can people be authentic? And to what extent? Does being authentic mean going around shouting everything one thinks  or is it necessary to “guide and frame” authenticity in order not to confuse it with catharsis? This “risk analysis” is an essential exercise to ensure the viability of the model. Changes, specially mindset changes, are not imposed overnight or, let’ s say, they are not imposed at all; they arise, grow and develop, and are consolidated only when obstacles are overcome in a successful manner.

As regards obstacles, every time a person disagrees with another, disagreement gives food for thought. When someone says “the president of XX company should not be focusing on values but on sales”, they are challenging us to find an answer.

Is thinking about values opposed to selling? Are values more superfluous than strategy? Can a strategy be accomplished without values? Not really. People are convinced that their sales will increase if they outrun their competitors. They know that authenticity is going to help construct more solid relationships with their employees and clients. They regard openness as a key factor for decision-making because it shows them what is beyond

TANGIBLE CONDUCTS The following step is to “translate” the values into tangible conducts that may be easily identifiable by everyone. At this stage, it would be useful to be sincere and clarify the difficulties that each one encounters in order to act upon the chosen values.

In which contexts is it more difficult to be open? With whom can people be authentic? And to what extent?

Does being authentic mean going around shouting everything one thinks or is it necessary to “guide and frame” authenticity in order not to confuse it with catharsis? This “risk analysis” is an essential exercise to ensure the viability of the model. Changes, specially mindset changes, are not imposed overnight or, let’ s say, they are not imposed at all; they arise, grow and develop, and are consolidated only when obstacles are overcome in a successful manner. As regards obstacles, every time a person disagrees with another, disagreement gives food for thought. When someone says “the president of XX company should not be focusing on values but on sales”, they are challenging us to find an answer. Is thinking about values opposed to selling? Are values more superfluous than strategy? Can a strategy be accomplished without values? Not really. People are convinced that their sales will increase if they outrun their competitors. They know that authenticity is going to help construct more solid relationships with their employees and clients. They regard openness as a key factor for decision-making because it shows them what is beyond them.

HARMONY. Finally, companies cannot build on twenty values selected at random. Salvador García, a VBM expert, explained that a true company is that which achieves a harmonic development of its economic, emotional/creative and ethical values. Daily work shows that values constitute a system where every component is intrinsically linked to one another. In order to generate authentic conducts the company must be open enough to allow people to express themselves without fear.
At the same time, if people are not open to what happens in their context, they will not be prepared to anticipate changes. And if people don’t show that they are capable of taking immediate action after listening to others, they will generate disillusionment and distrust. Many companies have well-rooted values, without applying a VBM model; but when they grow, they merge or spread to different regions, the cultural components that were smoothly transmitted, almost by osmosis, need to acquire a new degree of formality. In this context, VBM ceases to be a theoretical model and becomes a powerful management tool that gives the company a sense of purpose and guides its conduct towards its strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *