Staying True to Company Values

Over the past year, there’s been a historic rise not only in expectations but also trust in business to step into the public sphere with a perspective and solutions to the challenges around us.

As result, it may seem unremarkable that 91% of employed Georgians told goBeyondProfit they want to see the businesses in their lives makes public statements on sensitive social issues. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that 79% of Georgia executives hold themselves to the same expectation for expressing a public point of view. The challenge lies in the decision of exactly what to say and when/if to speak and perhaps more importantly what to do in response.

goBeyondProfit’s recent report Navigating Rising Expectations found that the risk-reward analysis lies in that alignment with core company values and relevancy with core business and employees.

In an interview with Darah Okeke, CEO, EPIQ consulting, Okeke reinforced this idea of staying true to company values when deciding on a public response to an issue such as racial equity or injustice.

“It’s going to be different for each company. But I think one thing that all companies and all leaders can do consistently is first decide where they stand. You know, decide what are our values? What do we hold most dear as a company? What is our mission? What are we trying to accomplish, not only as a business but for the world? How are we trying to make the world a better place?

You know, I don’t think any company or any executive should be forced into a political position, a social justice issue unless it’s something that they genuinely align with and care about.

And so, I think before you decide how you’re going to respond to the public or how you present your company to the world, internally the leadership has to decide: Who are we as a company? What matters most to us? What do we stand for? What are those issues that we’re willing to step out there, and really stick our necks out for?

And what are those that don’t align with our company values therefore we’re not going to make as bold of a statement.

I think once you get to that place of feeling really confident and comfortable in who you are as an organization. It makes it easier to kind of present yourself to the world in a way that is authentic and real to the company and its values. But that also resonates well with the public.”