O P I N I O N
O ne of the only things we can rely on when everything we know is changing so fast is that what served us well in the past might not necessarily carry us confidently into the future. It’s important to revisit your purpose and values statements from time to time to make sure they still hold true for your firm. Challenging times put values to the test
IVORY TOWER VERSUS COLLECTIVE WISDOM. This hierarchical approach worked just fine in a time when processes and outcomes were fairly predictable and direction could be set from the top down with a degree of confidence. In today’s climate, where projects are highly complex, schedules are compressed, technology transforms processes from one day to the next, and external factors such as climate and health play an ever greater role in our built environment – it was clear that we needed a different approach. “I was stunned by the wide variety of interpretations of each value. The same words meant radically different things to different people.”
Last year our company was impacted by a serious event that caused us all to scrutinize our culture and our purpose. We realized that our stated values had grown stale and that our mission and purpose had evolved in response to a rapidly changing market environment. We saw this as an opportunity to focus on something positive that would engage people across the organization and help with the healing process. As with most companies that have been around for some time, it’s not the first time we’ve revisited our purpose and values statements. Last time we did this we elected a small group of senior management and key stakeholders, shut ourselves in a room, and, through a semi-facilitated process of review, emerged with some tweaked wording and a sense that everything still held true.
See TED HERB, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER JUNE 8, 2020, ISSUE 1348
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