The system of beliefs and values, that shaped the model for management and organizations during the 20th century, is just not good enough today. In order to keep a business functioning well and competing successfully in markets that are increasingly more global, complex, professionally demanding, constantly changing and oriented towards quality and customer satisfaction a new model is needed.
The old model, based on the hierarchical control of employees, must unquestionably evolve to take account of a new way of thinking and doing things at work - towards a “new culture”. This culture must, of course, maintain effective mechanisms of “top down” monitoring of results, but the leaders would be expected to make a strategic choice, not of controlling but that of developing the personal and professional potential of each and every member of the organization.
The Definition and Premises of MBV
MBV can be divided into two elements:
1. MBV is a "new" strategic leadership tool. More than a new way of managing a company, MBV is a new way of understanding and applying knowledge per ideas advanced by behavioral sciences ever since the middle of this century; there are many managers all over the world who are already practicing MBV in one form or another, although in many cases only in an intuitive and still very imperfect way, in the interests of corporate survival and differentiation, in the race towards the future.
The usefulness of MBV as a leadership tool can be considered at various levels, but basically, it has a triple purpose: to simplify; to guide; and to secure commitment. Simplifying involves absorbing the organizational complexity created by the ever-increasing need to adapt to change at all levels in the company; Guiding means channeling strategic vision towards the future destination of the company; Securing commitment is part of strategic management whereby it must be integrated with the policy towards people, with the aim of developing every employee's commitment to deliver a high quality performance in the day-to-day work.
2. MBV is based on values. True leadership is, at its most fundamental, a dialogue about values. The future of the company takes shape by articulating values, metaphors, symbols and concepts that guide the daily activity of creating value, by employees at all levels and functions. In other words, a "humanized" interpretation must be given to the basic strategic vision of the company: this is, of course, instrumental for survival and growth, and for obtaining good economic returns. In fact, MBV is tending to become an overall framework for the continual redesign of the corporate culture, by which collective commitment is generated for inspiring new projects. If a high quality performance is expected from a more professional workforce, then the qualitative factors or values, such as trust, creativity or honesty are of equal or greater importance than the traditional economic concepts, like efficiency or return on investment.