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Issue 19

Value as strategy

Cornelia Stan
Communications Officer
@Accesa
MANAGEMENT

Although you could say that "value as strategy" could be valid for any type of company, the strategic development principle behind this phrase leaves us plenty of room for elaborating opportunities which are not to be ignored - especially for IT companies. "Value as strategy" means leveraging company values in order to control and define processes, ways of working, communication and development guidelines.

Respecting company values

In the way, respecting rules supports a continuous behavior (think about the traffic rules, which by imposing their authority pursue avoiding accidents), like so - respecting values in the context of an IT company, pursues sustaining a rhythm of development. Values are relevant especially for a company that is continuously developing, their existence and acceptance having an impact towards employees and company.

Far from just existing in the company"s website section named "Values", in reality, values have a higher relevancy especially for service providers, for which quality is mediated through a series of factors. What does that mean? - That actions, processes, ways of organizing, communication and attitude in solving problems - prove services" quality and go beyond "code quality". Moreover, these elements contribute to creating a clearer and wider perception towards the quality an IT company can deliver - as "service providers" and not only as a "software development" company.

Furthermore, relatively to an external market, assuming certain values presumes having the ability to match the internal processes with the cultural exigencies that those values imply. A good is example is "punctuality", which is often found in the German culture. Once assumed in relation with a German client, it is implied that we truly understand what "German punctuality" means and that we act correspondingly.

When do values become strategic resources?

• First, when individuals (employees) and groups (teams) can relate to them. Specifically for the IT field, values become strategic to the extent where they have a positive influence in the collaboration between colleagues and in relation with the client"s team.

If company values already exist, but they have not been clearly set yet, they become strategic resources only when employees" actions and behaviors can be correlated with them. Questions as - What do clients appreciate in collaborating with team members? - Which are the most common found types of behavior in a team? - Which is the dynamic in learning and team forming? - can help you identify and define them easier.

When they are well known and assumed by members of the organization. As simple as that - when values manage to trace a direction for behavior and action - we are already talking about "assumed values". A good example is the one where recruiting new colleagues takes place considering the company values. Another good example is the case when values are defined with the support of the entire team, ensuring transparency and a good understanding of values - internally.

The impact of values in relation with employees and the company

From a development view, we can enumerate a few perspectives on values:

The fact that company values do exist and that they are respected, are clues for the importance the individual (employee) has, at the organizational level.

Values can serve as a fundament for growth and active sustenability at the IT service quality level.

Any of the values which are assumed by the company can be a criteria for service quality evaluation but also for employee performance.

Values can be a source which even from the recruiting stage can contribute to keeping the team cohesive.

Values can be a source of motivation for employees. These can be valorified internally through innovative projects, employees" initiatives which the company can support and so on.

PhönixPreis, company values and recognition in Europe

PhönixPreis is the distinction offered to foreign companies which activate in Germany and which managed to differentiate through social commitment - by creating jobs, and through business performance. The Department for Work and Economy offers this distinction, with the support of the Munich Town Hall.

Accesa is one of the companies that, at the end of the year 2013, have accepted the PhönixPreis distinction, in the "Established Company" category. The distinction was offered with the occasion of the official awarding event, which took place on December 4, in the banquet room of the Munich Town Hall.

The values Accesa supports: passion, courage, proaction, modesty and respect - which were a basis for the company"s development, and relevant for the jury"s evaluation. Iulian Iuga, Accesa"s General Manager declares: "entering the contest and accepting the award were opportunities to strengthen the company"s development mission". For Accesa, winning the PhönixPreis is an acknowledgment for performance, which every employee has contributed to, and which is now recognized by the Munich community.

From the business development perspective, this kind of award is especially representative for the managers" function to act like visionaries beyond the borders of their own country, to innovate - thus by contributing to the competitive external environment. Including company values in the development strategy implies considering them as long-term resources, leading to differentiation and consolidation of the company"s strengths.

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