Almost all companies have, now quite some time ago, dealt with their values, often writing them down and distributing them throughout the company. A significant source was often the memory of the founders’ »philosophy« and their words, often late words. The values formed the backbone of the organization and complemented the vision processes. Guiding this was a quote from Odo Marquard: »The future needs origins«. Today, they are a foundation of the »Purpose« processes. It is always about the answer to the question: Who are we and who and how do we want to be?

Now these values, which are often understood as temporally stable, even supratemporal, are actually values of an old world. And so the question arises: Do we need a new value process? And should it this time be designed less top down and more with the inclusion of the socio-ecological environment?

Values, shared, are all the more important the more autonomy and self-control an organization strives for. They are an indispensable part of indirect control, giving the relatively freely operating units a common foundation and thus increasing the possibility of expanding degrees of freedom and reducing hierarchical, direct control.

The importance of new, participatory value processes can be clearly seen in the topic of diversity. In an attempt to increase the diversity of a company, we are designing inclusion programs today, and although we want the difference, the background logic is often »to fit in«. The contradictory message is: be different, but please be within our culture. So we want a discrimination-free coexistence in the context of our culture, culture of origin. If we really want to be a global company and truly a common house for »diversity«, the old values will have to undergo an intensive revision. This must be done in such a way that diversity is not merely thought of and included, but in such a way that a common identity of differences is formed.

New values emerging from the diverse collective could give members of other life concepts, other cultural origins and other life stories the opportunity to find themselves reflected in the values of their company. Then it would also be justified to speak of global companies and not only of globally represented companies.

SYNNECTA has described a process with TheQuestBySynnecta, which can be an important guide here.

Rüdiger Müngersdorff