The Power of Common Value

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While visiting the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa in Japan, I was keen in trying different Japanese treats offered by the street vendors along the way to the temple. Every vendor asked me to eat on the side of the stall and dispose the garbage into a small bin. In fact, locating a garbage bin on the streets of Tokyo has been a challenge. This applies at train stations, in department stores, and most public places. Yet, the streets are very clean. One doesn’t have to worry about stepping on something unpleasant.

The city of Tokyo is populated with over 13 million people. It is simply amazing that the cleanliness is so well maintained. The city is very clean in comparison to many metropolitan cities I visited in my travels.

Despite a stiff littering fine, people certainly could litter and hope to avoid getting caught. On the contrary, Japanese care. Each person holds a common value in doing one’s share to sustain the cleanliness.

In your business, is there a common value which everyone supports? Commitment to that common value is upheld in the daily routines and difficult situations. To identify the common value, there are several questions you could ask:

  1. What impacts does your business have on the community?
  2. What is valuable to your customers in what you do?
  3. Do your employees see the same value?
  4. Is there any common interest you share with your business partners?
  5. In conducting the daily business, what additional benefits could you deliver?

In addressing the above questions, be specific so that you could identify something that is tangible. You want to be able to quantify the value in order to justify the effort. Otherwise, the common value would not garner the support of your employees.

Please share ideas and examples of common value your business has in the comment box.

© Connie Siu 2013. All rights reserved.

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