Guest Blog - Values that matter
I have had the privilege to found, build, and lead the Alumni business, which in 2007 became part of the Harvey Nash Group. Ever since Alumni was established more than 30 years ago we constantly developed our service offering, branding, organisation, processes, systems, skill sets, business plan and strategy. We are currently in the middle of a transformation of the business as we integrate our international executive search business, launch new services like Alumni on site and Alumni Academy and at the same time we change and digitalise the way we deliver our search and leadership services. The way we conduct our business today is not the same as it was a year ago and will most likely be different a year from now. Change is part of our DNA, something we share with the rest of the Harvey Nash Group. This has been part of our combined Group success, that we can adopt and change. Together we shine.
To successfully drive this constant development and change it has been crucial that we at the core have stayed true to our values. “Culture beats strategy” is an expression that you probably have heard, and to me this has proven to be true time and time again. Not that strategy does not matter, of course it does. But with a strong culture and common values, the progression and implementation of the strategy becomes possible. Change can be embraced, and the whole organisation can move forward because we trust each other to be true to our values. In the McKinsey 7S model Strategy, Structure, System and Skills are relatively easy to change but Staff, Style and Shared values – the elements that makes up the culture of the organisation - are hard and take a long time to create and change. For a business to be truly successful all seven need to be in alignment. In other words, you need to get your shared values right!
I have seen this happen time and time again, also recently during the last year of Covid. Our value set built around Collegiality, Passion, Innovation, Excellence and Long-term has been the railing to hold on to as the ground under our feet started to shake. Colleagues have stepped up and helped each other more than ever, we have innovated how we deliver our services, we have kept a high quality in all our deliveries, we have been long-term in our decision making, and the passion that I have seen across the business to take us through the crisis has been fantastic. I am truly proud and humbled to be part of such a business and team of people with such strong values.
The current value set that describes the Alumni culture was developed more than 25 years ago. We are now, as we integrate our international businesses, in a process of developing how we formulate and describe our values and culture. Even if the words will be different, who we are, what we want to be and how we interact with each other will be the same. We Share, We Care and We Dare.
CEO Alumni, Harvey Nash Group Leadership Division