New book discusses the importance of personal values in business

An Associate Professor in Birmingham City Business School has co-authored an innovative new book discussing the role of personal values in business strategy and how they can lead to long-term successes.

Posted 22 November 2021

Business leaders need to utilise their personal values when working with their teams, a new book says.

An alternative to short-term thinking

Scott Lichtenstein has co-created Strategy through Personal Values with Professor Malcolm Higgs of Southampton Business School.

The book, available now and published by Palgrave Macmillan, provides an alternative to short-term thinking.

It enters into a deeper dialogue about personal values and their importance to business strategy.

It summarises current research in the area, includes a diagnostic to help readers uncover their own personal values, and offers guidance on how to align strategies, goals and missions to stakeholders’ personal values to gain buy-in for effective implementation.

The importance of personal values

After working and researching in this area for over 20 years, Scott knew that there was a need for literature to be produced on the subject.

This need only intensified with the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“Having done workshops with executives, I discovered that business leaders don’t have a problem making a profit, but the tough thing is sustaining that profit, which requires skills covered in the book,” he explains.

“With the pandemic, and these disruptive times in general, personal values give a sense of direction amid conflicting views and demands.

“Our intention is to give readers a diagnostic and guidance to uncover the invisible force of their personal values to help them navigate these turbulent times.”

A better leadership strategy

Only a small percentage of business leaders incorporate their personal values, something Scott feels needs to change.

“Personal values are at the crux of strategic leadership because they colour relationships, communication and knowledge sharing, so starting with understanding your own is so vital for strategic leadership development,” Scott explains.

“Valuing values diversity within the workforce is a critical practice our organisations, communities and societies need for sustaining profit, people and the planet.”

Scott says that many people don’t utilise their personal values as they seem “woolly”, and so place too much focus on factors “that can be reduced to a spreadsheet”, which can lead to unsuccessful outcomes.

“The results are all around us,” Scott states. “Only 30 percent of strategies actually get implemented and only 15 percent of the global workforce is actually engaged. This is manifesting itself in the current ‘great resignation’.

“Companies that can align their executives’ values to the goals of the organisation significantly outperform those that don’t.”

More efficient leadership practices

Scott hopes that Strategy through Personal Values will help to develop more efficient leadership practices.

“By offering case studies, models and a diagnostic, we hope to develop the leadership practices of personal values sensitivity,” he explains.

“It could result in sustained profit for the long term, as well as achieving emotional buy-in for strategies, goals and missions.”

Strategy through Personal Values, by Scott Lichtenstein and Malcolm Higgs, is available now through Springer Link, who are offering a 20% off voucher under the title ‘Welcome20’.