There are three reasons why an organization needs to be intentional about being virtuous. The first is that positive values, virtues, and attributes amplify the demand-side responses to the organization. We all want to interact with virtuous organizations. Virtuousness, if it is fully enacted and can be relied upon by customers as part of an organization’s DNA, can be a competitive advantage.
The second reason to be intentional about being virtuous is due to the diversified workforce that is becoming common in many organizations, as more people with diverse backgrounds enter the workforce. Today’s workers are different in several respects from earlier generations – more women, minorities, people from different national origins, diverse backgrounds, and young and older workers mixed together. In any organization, but especially within this melting pot, it is unknown what values may be dominant. If left unattended, we can expect a culture to emerge from the bottom through the interaction of individuals over time, as it would in any complex adaptive system. It is important that the organization itself be intentional about what values it wants in the workplace.
The third reason to be intentional about being virtuous is that positive values are protective. Positive values embedded within processes and culture can protect an organization from problems along its journey.
In summary, positive values, virtues, and attributes can serve to amplify benefit exchanges with the environment, orient a diversified workforce to what the organization considers important, and serve as a protective shield against scandal over time. They can become differentiators that define and distinguish a brand.
Listen to episode 74, as I explore the important topic of… Being intentional about being virtuous.
Charles G. Chandler, Ph.D.