Vision - Fountain of Business Culture

10:23:45 AM | 10/13/2022

National economic development requires the national administration to effectively identify, mobilize and develop economic and social resources. (Capital) resources such as finance, physical products, humans and natural resources play a fundamental and indispensable role in socioeconomic development strategies. However, to develop the country sustainably, it is also necessary to develop social soft resources in which social culture and national culture, including business culture, are the core values that ensure trust, confidence and belief in human philosophy based on “the true, the good and the beautiful” philosophy.

Culture illustrates accepted norms and values and traditional behaviors of a group or at the national level. A common concept of culture is “the way we work and make things”. However, culture also evolves over time. The culture of each country has its own beliefs, values and activities. In other words, culture can be defined as a set of beliefs, values and attitudes of the whole people that exist and evolve. Culture is also a key component of business and has an impact on the strategic directions of a business. Culture influences administration, decisions, and all business functions from accounting to manufacturing. Business culture has its own unique aspects, including values, vision, working style, beliefs and habits of an organization.

Vietnamese business culture appeared a very long time ago. Through historical periods, with rigors of economic and social conditions, Vietnam's business culture always expresses intelligence, creativity, sensitivity and quick adaptation of Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs. The doi moi (renovation) process affirms and enhances the role and position of enterprises and entrepreneurs in society, and is an important condition for Vietnamese business culture to be gradually aroused and promoted with full color. According to statistics, culture "can account for 20-30%" of the difference in a business's performance when compared to its "no-culture" competitors. In addition, in the opening and integration process, Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs have gradually realized that the purpose of doing business is not only for profit but also to honor Vietnam in the international arena. Many Vietnamese companies of the world class are well aware of the purpose of building and developing brands, not only to maximize profitability but also to protect and preserve the national face and culture in the course of integration.

Resolution 09-NQ/TW of the Politburo dated December 9, 2011 on "Building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the course of accelerating industrialization, modernization and international integration". "Building a strong team of entrepreneurs, with national spirit, political enlightenment, business culture, high social responsibility and qualified competence to lead and manage their business to work with high quality, performance and competitiveness”. But, what makes a successful culture?

A successful Vietnamese business culture strategy in a rule-of-law state should have five basic components:

First, Vision: A great culture begins with a vision or mission statement that sets the purpose and guides the values of the business. That purpose, in turn, guides every employee's decision. When it is delivered truly and clearly, good vision statements can even help direct and connect customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. In a country that is moving toward a rule-of-law state and improving its market mechanism, business vision needs to consist of four main elements: Rule of law, Efficiency, Business ethics and Humanitarian action. When these four elements play a role in their production and business life, they will create the prestige and brand of the company in the marketplace. In particular, humanistic activities consist of humanity, environmental protection, preservation and maintenance of national cultural and historical works. This is also a new content that has been greatly supported and encouraged within the business community by the Party and the Government right in the first decade of the doi moi process and is clearly shown in the letter to the government of Hai Hung province by late Party General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh on November 19, 1996 regarding his support for the planning project for Con Son - Kiep Bac restoration.

The vision statement is a seemingly simple element but it is actually the foundation of business culture. Moreover, in a nascent rule of law country like Vietnam, the business community also needs to actively promote economic subjectivity, and coordinate with legislators to integrate its development vision into lawmaking as well as the execution, supervision and enforcement of laws to achieve social justice goals.

Second, Values: A set of standard values of a company is the core of culture. While a vision states the purpose of the company, the set of values provides a guide to the behaviors and mindsets required to achieve that vision. A set of values that are clearly articulated and specifically communicated to all employees may include how the company is committed to serving customers, treating partners, and upholding professional standards. Value is a broad concept that embodies the spirit and attitude needed to achieve the vision of the business.

Third, Practice: Of course, the set of values only really plays an important role when they are respected in the real life of the business. If a business claims that “people are our greatest asset,” it should also be willing to invest in people in perceptible ways. Likewise, if a company highly values a "flat" hierarchy, it must encourage dissidents of subordinate teams to show no fear in discussions. And, they must be reinforced in review criteria and promotion policy, and incorporated into the day-to-day operating principles of the business. Practices are tangible methods, guided by concrete measures, by which a business realizes its values.

Fourth, People: No business can build a cohesive culture without people who either share its core values or are willing and able to adopt them. In addition, business culture strategists are highly in agreement with building personal role models in the business through the power of narrative, because the best way to build trust is from heart to heart. Any business has a unique history - a unique story. And, how to reveal that history and write it into a narrative is at the heart of cultural creation. The elements of that story can be grandiose enough to make a movie or as simple as word of mouth. However, they are more powerful when defined, shaped, and told as part of a continuum of the culture of the company.

Fifth, Environment: Why can an open environment create a space for company members to meet and interact in natural ways? And why are tech companies concentrated in Silicon Valley and financial firms in London and New York? There are many answers to these questions, but an obvious answer is that the work environment shapes the culture. Open architecture is more conducive to certain office behaviors, such as collaboration. The environment - whether geographical, architectural or design aesthetic - affects the values and behaviors of the people who work there.

The Party and State of Vietnam defines one of the key tasks in the 13th National Party Congress: “Arousing aspirations to develop a prosperous and happy country; promoting cultural values and strength of Vietnamese people in the cause of national construction and defense and international integration". In that process, it is urgent now to develop and issue a new resolution of the Party on the development of Vietnamese business culture into positive energies, social resources and strong beliefs for the sustainable and long-lasting construction and development of Vietnamese entrepreneurs with high competitiveness in the industry 4.0 era. If so, business culture and broader culture will be a social resource along with four other resources: Finance, Physical Products, Resources and People, which will be five golden stars leading the country to advance on national credit ratings to realize the goal of being a powerful rule of law state as we celebrate the 100th anniversary.

Dr. Doan Duy Khuong

Source: Vietnam Business Forum