To engender passion and commitment among staff for the shared goals of the organisation.
Develop a statement of business Purpose and Values that capture the essence of the organisation. Amongst other things, this means:
Expressing the business purpose in outcome terms i.e. what do we want to achieve as an outcome for our customers? (not shareholder returns);
Treating the product/service as a variable of the business, not the business; and
Limiting the use of generic, 10 commandments style values. They add little to defining who you are as an organisation, and should be taken for granted. Focus on those values that are closely related to your business strategy and describe the essence of who you are and how you operate.
Use the statement of Purpose and Values in communications to staff and customers. Make it part of the daily life in the organisation. Refer to it in the business strategy, when making organisational announcements and advertising.
Ensure that the senior leadership act as exemplars to the Purpose and Values at all times. This role modelling has a profound influence on the culture and the way the organisation functions.
HR as business partners
In order to play a meaningful role in these OD pathways, HR professionals need to work as business partners rather than internal vendors who serve a range of internal customers. The internal-customer paradigm has two inherent weaknesses in the case of professional services such as HR:
It assumes a relatively smart buyer, i.e. the customer understands what he wants and can specify the requirements and standards against which the vendor must deliver. This is not always the case with best-practice HR and OD initiatives; and
The relative power imbalance (in favour of the customer) does not allow the vendor to operate as an equal and debate the issues vigorously with the customer for fear of losing the business.
This internal vendor situation makes it more difficult for the HR professional and line manager to sit down as equals and jointly develop an optimal solution – particularly when this solution may fall outside the line manager’s knowledge and experience.