Hoist from archives for a brief re-appearance.
A Troppo community service:
As we wind down for Christmas I think we all need to reflect on our values. And as most Troppo readers would agree, values are like any other thing in life. Much better if they’re the product of a lot of talk and deliberation and if that’s by highly paid people then so much the better. That’s why I thought a good lead would be the core values of corporations with lots of highly paid people, like PWC. This is particularly the case since I’d recently visited PWC and saw this sign in their lobby. Still, it has not all been plain sailing, leading to this letter to Dr Troppo.
Dear Dr Troppo,
I have a problem. I have several million dollars to determine the appropriate course of action to take in a number of situations – this would concern policy and conduct both in a number of private sector corporations and some government agencies. I thought I would give the money to PriceWaterhouseCoopers because they seem to have their head screwed on.
But I don’t know too many people there. However it isn’t really who you know or what you know. I’ve always thought that it gets down to a question of values.
But that’s where my problems start. Because when I look up the values of PWC UK I find these values.
- Acting professionally.
- Doing business with integrity.
- Upholding our clients’ reputations as well as our own.
- Treating people and the environment with respect.
- Acting in a socially responsible manner.
- Working together and thinking about the way we work.
- Considering the ethical dimensions of our actions.
By contrast Australia’s PWC values are:
We value outcomes. We strive to achieve and to help others to do the same by trusting each other and teaming together; not micro-managing. We give responsibility, hold ourselves accountable and expect quality in everything we do.
Have a go
We stand up to be counted with considered points of view and actions on topics that matter. We aren’t scared to try new things that deliver value for society, our clients and our firm. We are agile.
Be open and authentic
We keep it real. We bring our true selves to work every day. We don’t shy away from difficult conversations and we listen. We always look to be candid with each other and our clients. We are honest.
Hunger for growth
We value all opportunities to learn and grow. We are committed to using all our experiences, and what we have learnt from them to serve and benefit our clients, our firm and society.
We embrace and value all our differences because we understand that is how to have the biggest impact. We work together. We use our different points of view, backgrounds and experiences to create better outcomes. We do not diminish others.
We care about building great relationships – within PwC, with our clients and in society. The sort where we appreciate and respect others, celebrate the good times together and support others through the hard times. We always have others’ backs – and care about our clients and giving back to society.
You can see my problem!
The values are different – yet these are the same organisation!
I would like the consultant to treat their reputation as my own (Groucho Marx’s views on clubs notwithstanding). So I should go with the UK PWC? Especially as they respect the environment. (Without the environment in their values, Australia’s PWC might do the work, hand in the report and pretty much trash the environment- they might belch out a few megatons of CO2 or even CFCs for all I know).
On the other hand inauthentic consultants can be a real drag. The UK guys might do the work professionally and with integrity – their values 1 and 2 respectively. But if they turn up pretending to be people who they’re not? If someone called Bill Lawler for instance turns up dressed in a frock and claims to be Beyonce, well I think you can see my point.
So my questions are
- Are these values different or am I missing something?
- Which values do you prefer and why? and
- Who should get my business?
In any event, I sent the email to Don Arthur who I believe has some kind of relationship to Dr Troppo but he (not Don, Dr Troppo) appears to be in a particularly unhelpful mood.
I spoke to Dr Troppo briefly and he got distracted after the part where I said you had several million dollars to spend on advice. He thinks he might be able to help … for a fee.
On persevering with Don I got back the further answer.
So you don’t want Dr Troppo’s help to write a mission statement and list of values for Lateral Economics?
As I understand it, Dr Troppo’s approach would be to hold a series of focus groups and encourage participants to brainstorm reasons they would not want to do business with your organisation. He would then take the top seven reasons and transform them into pithy statements that express precisely the opposite.
For a fee Dr Troppo will perform the process in reverse to reveal your competitors’ deepest fears and insecurities.
As you can see, these are very worthwhile suggestions, but they don’t go to the heart of my concern, which is, essentially what values to adopt. Can anyone out there help?