Change management
Why value management makes your company successful

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Value management – what is it? – And what do I have to do with it? Why value management makes your company successful.

Why value management makes your company successful



“Every man shall be blessed according to his own way…”
Frederick the Great



Yes, he was right, old Fritz! Frederick the Great realized that he was leading people who had very different values and that it was better to take these into account.
And that is still the case today. Fortunately, we got rid of the kings. However, the realization that different things are important to us and that we will only be happy if we can reconcile our lives with these important things remains valid. Our façon, i.e. our values and attitudes, drives us in life and allows us to evaluate situations. What can this look like?


Values in the company

For Constance, head of the marketing department, her family comes first; she is also in the kitchen until late at night to bring home-baked cakes to the nursery. IT-man Malte likes it relaxed; the main thing is that the programs are up to date and he can come to work in a T-shirt and sneakers or even work from home; oh yes – and eat at work. Apprentice Matilda has been to many Fridays for Future demos and thinks it is fundamentally important that the planet remains habitable. The aluminum capsules of the espresso machine and the constant printing are a thorn in her side. Salesman Michael, on the other hand, is keen to share his success in the form of a car, watch and golf club membership. He is happy to work overtime for this. And veteran Günther, the oldest member of the company, is very old school: he likes it a little formal, which he finds respectful. He always has polished shoes and only takes off his tie at company parties. And he likes to plan months in advance, which is almost a bit annoying for Constance, Malte and Matilda. Everything always turns out differently anyway….


Values in the company


What are values?

Values are everything that is deeply important to us in life. These are the qualities we strive for. They are the background to our actions: they determine how we act and how we evaluate our own actions and those of others. Our values and convictions show us the right path for us – like an inner compass needle: whether we are enthusiastic about a climate demo, children’s swimming club or golf course is influenced by our values. They not only give us direction, but also strength: they drive us to achieve something. They motivate us. And if we can’t live our values, we are demotivated, it feels wrong and we leave situations because of it.

An example: Malte attaches great importance to the values of “freedom” and “personal responsibility”, so he feels comfortable in a job where he can plan and organize his working hours and activities largely independently. In a job that is strongly controlled by guidelines and regulations, and with a superior who leads closely and gives detailed instructions, Malte will feel uncomfortable and act accordingly unmotivated. Or even quit.


Why value management?

You probably know this from your company: everyone has different needs. This does not mean that you as a manager are responsible for reading every wish from the lips of every employee. Nevertheless, you should be aware of these inner driving values, as they influence your employees’ motivation and their commitment to the company. Nobody needs unmotivated employees. The only problem is that many companies manage to thoroughly demotivate their initially euphoric workforce:

The Gallup Study

According to the Gallup study, only 17% of employees have a strong bond with their company. 83% feel little or no connection. You can imagine that it makes a big difference whether someone doesn’t care about something or whether someone identifies with something.
Matilda spends hours of unpaid work on campaigns that draw attention to the ongoing climate catastrophe. Even tough group discussions do not deter her. It is simply important to her.
Wouldn’t it be great if the employees in your company contributed at least some of this elan?
Then you should shape the corporate values you live by – i.e. the corporate culture – in line with the values of your employees.


Corporate culture


Corporate culture

What? How? Corporate culture?
The corporate culture is a mixture of values, unofficial rules, experiences, lived actions and told stories that influence, influence and…

  • how you treat each other and others,
  • which opinions and attitudes prevail in the company
  • what is important to you,
  • how hierarchical structures are practiced,
  • how you work together,
  • how important processes are, how they are designed and which ones are important in your company,
  • how your working environment is designed.

Everything that happens in the company has an influence on the corporate culture.

Corporate culture is based on values. We have written a very detailed article about this.
Corporate culture & cultural change: definition, examples, tips for success

Employees will only be enthusiastic about their work if the corporate culture is in line with their values.


Values in companies and value management – why are they so important?

We hold fast:
A person’s inner values determine to a large extent the way in which they can – and want to – think and act. We assume that the management of an organization can only be successful if the way in which the company is managed matches the inner driving values of the employees.
In other words, you will only be able to steer your company in the direction that is supported by the values of your employees. In addition, shared values create identity and a sense of belonging, and these are the foundations for successful collaboration.

Questions could therefore be:

  • Do we have the culture we need to successfully meet current and future challenges?
  • Do we have a culture that matches the personal values of our employees?
  • Do we have the employees who can shape the culture we need to successfully meet current and future challenges?

This is where value management comes into play.

By the way, we have our own website on the subject of value management: On our ValueParty website you will find everything about culture measurement with the value profile and value-based transformation


Definition of value management


Definition of value management

Value management defines the existing and desired values and attitudes within a company and helps to ensure that the desired values are practiced in everyday life.

What is value management?

Value management is the process by which you determine,

  • what values your employees have
  • which values underlie the current corporate culture
  • which values are important for the success of the company

Value management is not only the analysis of existing values/culture, but also helps you to use this knowledge. Value management uses tools, moderation, event and discussion formats to reshape the existing corporate culture in such a way that it reflects the desired values for employees and the company.


What are the values that a company needs?

We mentioned that there are values that a company needs in order to be successful. What is meant by this?
The world is changing rapidly and many companies cannot keep up. Nowadays, for example, speed and flexibility are values that companies need to remain competitive. However, many are simply unable to react quickly due to complex organizational charts and long decision-making processes.



Where value management is needed

One example:
The medium-sized company in which Constance, Malte, Matilda, Michael and Günther work produces high-quality design furniture and accessories in the Black Forest style. Customers are wealthy private individuals, but mainly hotels, guesthouses and stores. The sprightly 72-year-old boss Walter has taken over the company from his father Gustav. Back then, handshake deals were still made between men. It’s actually his daughter Christine, 43,’s turn now. Walter wants that too – but he can’t let go. Every decision, no matter how simple, must be submitted to him. But he doesn’t manage that at all. He doesn’t even understand many things.

Marketing manager Constance is annoyed. Not only is everything delayed, but her boss’s idea of marketing has long been out of date. Mathilda believes that ecological, sustainable furniture lines are needed. Malte is considering quitting again because it’s all too conservative for him.
Nobody dares to do anything different from what the blessed Gustav did.
The urgently needed young designers don’t want to apply, and young blood is also needed in sales and the trades.
The quick answers that customers or potential customers need pile up on Walter’s desk. His employees could have answered 99% of them in no time at all.
The company seems to be caught in a time bubble. While the 1980s are still dragging on within the company, the 2020s demand quick reactions, social media, sustainability and flat hierarchies. This not only reflects the attitudes of most employees, but is also essential for the continued existence of the company.

Junior boss Christine convinces her father to practice value management with the help of consultants. All employees under 50 can breathe a sigh of relief…


Advantages of value management


Advantages of value management

  • 1. decision-making ability

We talked about it: Our environment is changing rapidly. So fast that there is a technical term for this permanent change:
VUCA (acronym from the English: Variability, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).
Change is constantly required and is already part of everyday life. In other words, it’s not about making an occasional decision; it’s about having to constantly make decisions in the face of changing circumstances.
Due to increased external pressure and the general fast pace of life, it is extremely important to be able to react to changes in the shortest possible time. However, this is made more difficult as previous orientation options such as the clear demarcation of activities, hierarchies or spatial boundaries are dissolving.

Who decides?

Most decisions can be made by the employees who deal with the respective topic. It is not necessary to chase all decisions across a few higher-ranking desks and wait days for an answer. This means that employees need greater freedom to make decisions.

How to decide?

What should you use as a guide when making an urgent decision? Many companies successfully counter this by creating clarity about their own culture. This enables people in the company to make decisions and act quickly and flexibly. In this way, companies can also operate authentically in our increasingly complex world.




  • 2. commitment

An aligned culture of values not only provides orientation for action. – It is the prerequisite for responsibility and commitment on the part of employees and managers: only when rules are not just formally dictated from above, but are filled with meaning and life through values, do they no longer run the risk of being creatively circumvented. When the wishes and needs of employees are heard, when they can participate and make a difference, colleagues naturally feel much more like members of the company than when they are presented with house rules that may not fit in with their everyday working lives. The best protection against corruption, internal dismissal and service by the book are employees who wholeheartedly support the company – and its values.


  • 3. strategic management

Values and morals are informal control mechanisms. Between the “Mission” (“Why we exist”) and the “Vision” (“What we want to be”) lie the “Values” (“What is important to us”) of the organization. These are the most important ingredient for management when it comes to activating employees (and all other stakeholders) to achieve the central strategic goals (“Our Game Plan”). That is why proactive value management is the fuel for successful strategic management of complex projects!


Value profile


What is value management for? When does a value profile make sense?

  • Corporate development in line with strategic goals (e.g. realignment of the company to a new corporate environment)
  • Development and integration of a management model into the company
  • Integration of departments
  • Team development
  • Unrest, misunderstandings or conflicts in teams
  • New management situations
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Several points apply to the Black Forest furniture makers.


The value profile as the basis for value-based leadership and value management

In order to lead with values or change a company in a meaningful way, it is important to map the ACTUAL and find out what the TARGET is in the interests of the employees and the company. A value profile is created to determine how the actual and desired corporate culture and the “value landscape” of the employees fit together.

  • The value profile provides you with a picture of the extent to which employee potential, culture and corporate strategy are aligned.
  • It enables you to align communication, collaboration and task distribution with the potential of your employees.
  • You recognize the conflicts in the value landscape of your organization.
  • You gain access to the most effective starting points for organizational and leadership development.


Create value profile


How do you create a value profile?

We have developed a method with which teams, groups and companies can define their values and culture. We call this light-footed, interactive method of value profile creation
Value Party
. This can be carried out live or online. Oh, and it’s fun too. Despite the profound topic.

You can find a detailed description here: How to create a value profile

Or here too: The ValueParty app or the ValueParty card game.

How to work with the value profile?

Values management and values profile sound good? – But how does that work? What do you do when you have a value profile? How do you incorporate the desired values into your company’s day-to-day operations? In our article on the topic of value change, we described a complete value change – from the problem to the value profile to the implementation of the values – in great detail.

Changing values: shaping a successful corporate culture


A value profile is created in Christine and Walter’s family business. The 50 employees indicate that there is a need for change. And it is clear to see that they also think in terms of the company. They want the company to remain successful – and there are plenty of ideas on how this can be achieved.
Walter is not going to change much. But he grasps through the feedback of the employees’ trust. He sees that changes are imminent and that he will not lead them. He realizes that a new wind must blow. And it reassures him that there is a concrete direction, that his people think entrepreneurially and are on board in the best sense. He realizes that the values he has worked for all these years are also being respected. This makes it easier for him to hand things over: “Then everything is fine…”
A spirit of optimism… Christine is delighted and so is the whole team. And Malte decides not to resign after all. Let’s see if that works out.
The old mill is finally on the move.


Values models


What models are there on the subject of values?

There are several theories that deal with the fundamental values of people. Examples include

  • Friedmann Schulz von Thun’s square of values.
  • The value model according to Shalom Schwartz.
  • The Graves model.

What is the scientific background for value management?

Our work is based on the model of the US psychologist Clare W. Graves. Graves has developed a model with which values or value clusters can be represented: the Graves Value System GVS. This model was continued by Graves’ students Chris Cowan and Don Beck after his death under the name Spiral Dynamics. If you look into the subject, you will come across both names.
Not only companies have been working with this model ever since, but also politicians such as Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair have used the Graves Value System / Spiral Dynamics to understand values and needs and to drive developments forward.


The GVS is quite complex. That’s why we have even dedicated two articles to it:

Here you can find out more about the origins and background of the GVS.
The Graves value system (the background to the model)
Here we describe
The 8 value clusters (memes) of the Spiral Dynamics Model according to Graves


Change values


Value management and change processes: Can values be changed?

Values are something very stable. They do not change in the short term; it often takes many years for values to change.
Sometimes existing corporate cultures have to be changed. This is particularly the case when the company’s situation changes significantly. If, for example, a previously state-owned company is privatized, faces competition and has to fight for its position, values such as performance, profit and entrepreneurial thinking suddenly become paramount for the company.

Walter’s company, on the other hand, urgently needs to modernize – and his employees reflect this: more freedom to make decisions, flatter hierarchies, digitalization that goes beyond a website, flexible working hours and sustainability are all on the agenda.

Matilda is thrilled that sustainability will be part of the change. She posts this on her channels. A few applications are promptly received from young people. Maybe the store isn’t so old school after all…


Employee change


No change without employees

In order to initiate a change in corporate culture, an intersection of the employees’ values with the desired corporate culture is required. The prerequisite for the success of a change process is that the employees want change. – And that they have the potential to change values. This can only succeed if the new values also correspond to the values that the employees support and consider suitable for the company.
In some departments or teams in the company, this will be easy to achieve because the employees working here have long wanted the necessary change and consider it to be sensible. In other places, it may be more difficult and require a lot of persuasion and a lot of dealing with the new requirements. For some people, it may also be necessary to find a place where their values do not stand in the way of the new culture. All this can only be decided sensibly if you know the values of the employees.

How long does value management take?

Value management is an ongoing process. First, it is analyzed, then opportunities for change are identified and finally implemented. Such a change in values, a change in corporate culture, takes time…. principle says: A new strategy is written in 100 days, the adaptation of the corporate structure to the new strategy can take place in a year. A change in culture takes 5 years, sometimes even 10.
But even when a change in values has taken place, a company should stay on the ball in terms of value management and make adjustments instead of waiting until there are discrepancies again. It’s worth sticking with it!

Would you like to learn more about values management or work with your organization’s values?

You can find more information on value-based transformation here.

Otherwise: Talk to us – we look forward to hearing from you.


Reading on the topic of value management

You want to read a little more on the subject of value management. Well, wonderful. Here is a brief list of our relevant articles:

Changing values: definition & guide to cultural change in your company

How to create a value profile and use it to change your company

The Spiral Dynamics value model: what is really important to people

The Graves value system: what is really important to people

Corporate culture


Value management studies

In 2020, the Gallup study also looked at the topic of employee motivation and emotional loyalty to the company. Here you can download the results of the study – with your data – as a pdf.



The authors

Oliver Grätsch
Michelle 550
Michelle Templin
Christian Grätsch
Matthias Beikert
Susanne Grätsch
Monika Bt 550x550
Monika Steininger
Kai Hübner
Philipp Andresen 500x550
Philipp Andresen
Anna Isabell Arendt
Dr. Claudia Schmidt
Inga Kühn
Kassandra Knebel
Claudia Lehmann
Komplettes Team

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