Although it sounds abstract to many people, the philosophy of a company is a very real element that serves, among many things, to improve the productive processes of a business and the corporate image that its clients may have.
But do you know exactly what the philosophy of a company is or how it is done? We invite you to explore the theoretical framework and, above all, the various tips and examples of a business philosophy that you will find in this article so that you start thinking about building the philosophy of your own business.
What is the philosophy of a company
The philosophy of a company refers to the set of principles and values that guide the way of working and the general behavior of the people of a company. In other words, the philosophy of a company can be described as the combination of the following two elements:
- The reasons behind the objectives that a company seeks to achieve.
- The values that define the pursuit of these objectives.
Sometimes such a philosophy is included in the corporate employee handbook or simply available online. However, very often the values of an organization are clearly defined only when the business has started and sales have been achieved.
With the above in mind, another way of thinking about the philosophy of a company is to treat this concept as the set of unspoken rules and patterns of behavior that guide the way a company conducts its operations in the long term.
What is NOT business philosophy
A good way to understand what business philosophy is is to see what it is NOT. To begin with, we can say that the business philosophy does not correspond to the mission of the company.
For example, Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” However, Google’s philosophy is made up of a number of principles that help shape that mission. Some of these principles are as follows:
- “Fast is better than slow”
- “Democracy on the Web works”
- “You can be serious without a suit”
In addition to reinforcing the mission, the philosophy of the company also helps to shape the corporate culture as indicated by the last principle of the list that we have just seen and that supports, in good part, the casual atmosphere that can be appreciated in the Google offices around the world.
On the other hand, the philosophy of a company does not equal its code of ethics. In fact, a code of ethics involves detailed information regarding the behavior that employees must have in certain activities and specific relational situations.
5 benefits of the organizational philosophy of a company
We have already briefly mentioned some of the benefits of a business philosophy. Here is a list of 5 powerful reasons why it pays to build a solid organizational philosophy for your business:
- It helps you in the development of the brand strategy of your business.
- It stimulates the development of a well-defined type of corporate culture.
- Provide a clear action guide for your production processes.
- It gives clarity to the development of your corporate identity.
- Generate a space for the implementation of an ethical framework within your business.
As you can see, the philosophy of a company offers enormous benefits. If you want to achieve them, it is time to discover how to do the philosophy of a company.
How the philosophy of a company is made
Before seeing the steps you need to take to build the philosophy of your company, it is important to comment on the diversity of approaches that the values and principles of a business philosophy can have. To do this, we can compare IBM’s business philosophy with Oracle’s.
While IBM’s philosophy focuses on leadership principles, (“Our basic belief is respect for individuals, for their rights and dignity”), Oracle’s philosophy focuses much more on product quality (“Employees Oracle make excellence and quality part of their daily work processes and seek continuous improvement in everything they do ”).
Despite this difference in focus, what is important here is that both philosophies have a point in common: a determined commitment to the individuals who must guide the company to improve service with its customers.
With this little parenthesis, we would like to refer to the five steps that must be followed to elaborate the philosophy of a company. Let’s see what they are.
1. Create your mission, vision and values
The first thing to do is to develop the mission, vision and values of the company. This is a fundamental step since the organizational philosophy of your company must complement the three elements that we have just mentioned. In fact, it is essential that the business philosophy supports the reason for being of your business, that is, the mission of your company.
2. Write the principles of your business philosophy
In this step, the important thing is to conceive these principles thinking about the mission of your company and the type of values and concepts that you want to associate with your brand. For example, if your mission emphasizes an environmental commitment, you should try to incorporate that concept into your company philosophy.
Likewise, it is important that you avoid filling your business philosophy with unnecessary words and concepts that do not correspond with the objectives of your business. For example, if your main goal is to massively sell as many products as you can, it would be a mistake to incorporate something related to the personalized experience of your store into your company philosophy.
3. Create a code of ethics
Once you have written your philosophy, the third step of the process is to reinforce it through the development of an ethical code. This step represents a practical applicability of everything that you have exposed in your business philosophy since it gives details about the type of behaviors that are expected from employees.
4. Make sure that your employees agree to the philosophy of the company
Although many times, the philosophy of a company responds to unspoken patterns of behavior that are not written, it is important that you try to incorporate the principles of this within a document easily accessible to your employees.
This document must also be short, clear and specific in such a way that it is easily digestible for each of the members of your team. Ideally, we advise you to choose a maximum of five basic principles to build your company philosophy.
5. Regularly monitor the implementation of your philosophy
The last step is to constantly control the processes that are carried out in the company to verify that the work and effort of your employees is indeed faithful to the principles that make up the philosophy of your business.
This is a good time to assess how the philosophy of the company affects variables such as productivity, customer service and employee motivation.