Why should businesses look to re-affirm their values in 2017?

vanessa-moonVanessa Moon, Director of Moon Consulting, takes a look at the opportunities and challenges businesses could face in the year ahead.

2016 surprised many a political pundit with its unexpected outcomes in the EU referendum and the US presidential election.

While few business leaders would have predicted either of these outcomes, the ramifications of these decisions will affect the global economic climate in the months and years to come.

Despite predictions, UK business confidence has confounded experts as employment levels and industrial output remains robust. The US seems poised for greater infrastructure investment which, in turn, may trigger global economic growth despite higher US interest rates.

In these times of uncertainty, we at Moon Consulting are reaffirming our values to ensure they guide our approach to the opportunities and risks that 2017 will bring. Our sense is that businesses that know what their purpose is, and how this affects their strategy and operations, stand the best chances of navigating these unpredictable times.

As search and selection experts at board and senior management levels, we have a privileged insight into the boardrooms of business of all sizes, across many sectors. We have identified several consistent themes regarding competitive advantage that are being discussed and debated as a new year begins.

Competitiveness is always a key board priority and having the right financial and operational strategy is essential. Companies want to be in an optimal position to take advantage of opportunities while managing the accompanying risks. Yet knowing where and when to allocate capital expenditure for maximum return can prove challenging.

Disruptive changes may bring advantages but could also require investment and increased costs. The growth of social media and the use of mobile telecoms create data collection, analysis and management needs. Sectoral consolidation can provide an attractive exit strategy, while value chain integration may distract your focus on customer service issues.

The scope and pace of change can seem relentless. Having capable or experienced staff to navigate the uncertainties that 2017 will bring is always at the heart of boardroom deliberations.

The principal competitive advantages obtained by values-based companies are a clarity of vision and unity of corporate culture. Having clear values drives the way staff behave in every situation, whether it is common or novel.

When faced with dilemmas, values direct what is right or wrong, acceptable or non-negotiable in the manner people carry out their roles. The values at Moon Consulting are to be ‘Distinctive’, ‘Ethical’ and ‘Approachable’ in all we do. Not only do these values feature prominently in our written materials, but they also form part of our discussions on how we carry out our day-to-day business and conduct strategic assessments.

As we look forward to 2017 and the opportunities the new year will bring, our values will guide our relationships with and behaviours towards clients, candidates, colleagues, customers, suppliers and stakeholders.