Wed, 05 Oct 2022

MIAMI, FL / ACCESSWIRE / August 8, 2022 / Value-based leadership is a catch-all term for employee motivation that's founded on establishing a common purpose and principles across an organization. It's become an established approach in many large companies and is increasingly regarded as a benchmark of good practice. But according to Jozef (Jos) Opdeweegh, international CEO and author of Fair Value; reflections on good business, it's unlikely to succeed unless there is clear and close alignment between any proposed values and a company's underlying culture and practices.

Scenic Figure, Monday, August 8, 2022, Press release picture
Jozef Opdeweegh draws on thinkers past and present to show how our values shape the values we create.

'It can be tempting to think that all modern businesses have much the same driving forces,' says Opdeweegh. 'Every sizeable business needs to make fair returns, retain good people, and have a sustainable strategy for growth…. But dig a little deeper, and it's clear that aspirations and cultures differ considerably. Some companies are highly entrepreneurial; others excel at research and development - or perhaps their signature characteristic is accuracy, or community bonds, or technical expertise…'

Paying tribute to these differences is crucial to aligning values with the inherent virtues of an organization. And according to Opdeweegh it's only when the two come together that value-based leadership can fully deliver on its potential.

'Commitment and discretionary effort are highest when employees sense that the purpose and values of their organization are in harmony with their own beliefs and preferences. They might not use those words, but they recognize the alignment just as surely as they feel demotivated when cultures and values clash.'

Writing in Fair Valueand on his website, Opdeweegh credits his international experience as an eye-opener to the need to be mindful of organizational cultures. Opdeweegh has worked for, started businesses and joint ventures and been a Board member of companies in Canada, the USA, Brazil, APAC (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand) and a significant number of European countries. Opdeweegh is fluent in English, Dutch and German, with a good working knowledge of French.

'What quickly becomes clear, when you work across so numerous countries, is that leaders can't take one set of values (no matter how successful they have been) and hope to simply transfer them to another culture or situation. Imposing a US style model on a business in, say, Eastern Europe, is a form of arrogance that's doomed to fail.'

From an international perspective, Opdeweegh claims there's often a mismatch of understanding between the various stakeholders. 'Some differences such as language or regulatory frameworks, are obvious and immediate. But when it comes to an organization's leadership values it's essential to consider the wider cultural and historic context. In Asia, for example, a much smaller percentage of companies have established trading histories than is typical in, say, Europe. This reflects not only on the goals and brand values of those businesses but in the skills and motivations of the people they employ.'

Educated in Europe, and now residing in the USA, Jozef Opdeweegh proposes that greater sensitivity to an organization's underlying culture and strengths would make value-based leadership even most effective. This awareness of the need to adapt, says Opdeweegh, is especially acute when managing in a global economy.

Drawing on his experience, Opdeweegh says, 'The principles of value-based leadership are the same across the world, and that's because people everywhere are inspired by much the same things too. What's essential, however, is to align an organization's purpose and values to those qualities that its people are inherently motivated to practice every day. At an international level, these can vary significantly.'

Opdeweegh says that to cut through, international leaders must be prepared to adapt their values to the cultures and performance drivers that predominate in different countries, markets, or trading environments. 'Whenever a leader comes to a new country or market they should first and foremost ask, what can this culture teach me?'

What's needed, says Opdeweegh, is greater cultural humility. This requires that international leaders spend considerable time listening and understanding what makes different peoples and markets tick. Opdeweegh claims that 'Leaders should always be mindful that their organization's purpose and values must, first and foremost, resonate with those who deliver the results - for only by capturing their passion and motivations will we leverage their full potential.'

Opdeweegh believes that a more multicultural perspective on values would help to bridge this gap, improving performance by respecting differences and drawing on the strength of cultural diversity. 'Ultimately we should always remember that value-based leadership is there to serve its people and not the other way round,' Opdeweegh concludes.


Andrew Mitchell
Phone: 404-955-7133

SOURCE: Jozef Opdeweegh

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