Leading the Value-Driven Business: Competence and Character

“Your ability to eilicit people’s best efforts depends on their trust in you – their confidence that they can count on you to do the right thing” *. In a previous blog post we talked about the fact that this trust is earned by Competence and Character. Let’s look at how you can incorporate these principles into your Value-Driven Business System.

Firstly, the whole area of competence. For every role you need to  need to know what skills and knowledge are needed to do the job well. Critically you need to understand the core competences – the things that make the difference between an average performer and an excellent performer. The Value-Driven Business System uses core competences as a key part of the “People” system. Painful Truth #1: in a small business you won’t have the time or the resources to develop these so recruit people who already have them. If you want excellent performance, recruit excellent performers. This is particularly important when it comes to management. When I started my management career in the 1980’s British Industry was blighted by “Happy Amateurs” at all levels of management. Sadly, little has changed since. Management is an area of expertise in its own right – it needs specific knowledge and skills, and these have to be developed. Painful Truth #2: managers have to take responsibility for their own development, particularly when times are tough. If they don’t, don’t retain them. Regularly assess the skills, knowledge and performance of key staff. Where there are gaps, take action to fill them quickly. Either provide the right training and development, or move the employee out of the role.

Secondly, character. This is about values, beliefs and behaviour. Value-Driven Businesses are successful because they have clear values and beliefs – everyone knows “how we do things around here”.  Recruit, recognise and reward those who demonstrate the values. Painful Truth #3: if employees don’t live the values then you need to move them out of the company. Jack Welch, former CEO at GE, felt that any leader who did not live the values did not belong at GE. Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller has a great phrase: “Some flowers grow better in someone else’s garden”!

The Value-Driven Business System incorporates a version of Jack Welch’s Performance-Values grid. Why? Because the Goal is to maximise the value of the business, and a large part of that value is based on the value of the company’s employees. It’s part of the Complete Balance Sheet, another component of the Value-Driven Business System.

[* Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog post – “Do your people trust you?”(http://blogs.hbr.org/hill-lineback/2012/03/do-your-people-trust-you.html ]

 If you have any thoughts or comments on these topics, or if you’d like to know more about the Value-Driven Business System,  please comment directly here or drop me an email at “an at nicholsonconsultancy dot com”

You can find other blog posts about Value-Driven Manufacturing here on the Manufacturing Times blog (helpfully categorised under “Value-Driven Manufacturing”!), and you can find out more about Value-Driven Business at www.ValueDrivenBusiness. co.uk.

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