All businesses have values, which are influenced by the world around them. The acronym SOGI helps us to think about them.
- Society: Every organisation operates within societal norms: they might relate to faith, environmental aspects, historical traditions, geographic or cultural practices. These will vary. Earlier, we explored our own perceptions of rurality, and discovered that rural areas vary and that our position in rural society (young/old/less able/employed) changes how we experience rural life.
- Organisational: A founder of an organisation imparts their own beliefs and values into the way the company is run. Some of these will relate to the aspects above and be unconscious, others may be a wish to resist or move away from established ways of doing things. These are then taken on by the staff and become embedded into the way they are expected to behave. We may do the same ourselves.
- Group: Within an organisation a group can develop their own set of values, ways of communicating and behaving with each other.
- Individual: Our personal values and beliefs will ‘fit’ or not with those of society, the organisation and the groups in which we find ourselves. People usually give their best when the ‘fit’ is good.
Task 4: Values
Think about the values you bring to your new enterprise.
If you are planning a partnership, think about the values of each person involved. (You could ask them to complete the previous activity too!)
- Are you and your partner’s values compatible?
- How will your values be evident in your organisation?
- If you are extending an existing business: what are the existing values of the business?
- Are you happy to build on them?
Make notes of your thoughts.
Share your thoughts with other entrepreneurs in your local networks.