The Friday’s training session for the 2017 Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix went not as planned for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen. After a problem with the engine, he had to abandon his car beside the race track and walk back to the pits. The temperatures showed 37C, but he started his journey in full race suit and helmet on. Even if he was being collected later by a Scooter, an impressive behavior. Due to the Ferrari corporate values, a true example of commitment “to the utmost professional, respectful and exemplary behavior.”
Most companies have the core values defined, but it cannot stop there. The corporate culture has to ensure that the values get combined with actions. Based on our believes, we develop our attitudes towards ideas and philosophies. If we identify a situation, the attitude works as motivational spark to start the action. Integrity means that our behavior is based on values & attitudes.
Imperative for the concept is experience and knowledge. Even if the values are right, a misinterpreted situation would lead to inadequate behavior. A company shall require its employees to comply with the values, but it is also obliged to train the personnel, so that attitudes will lead to the desired behavior.
As Kimi had to experience, values are a clear message, but it should not be mixed up with making it easy for the personnel. Employees will face difficult situation and all kind of temptations. The values guide the individual, but often it means that the employee will choose the hard way instead of taking the shortcut.
Integrity does not automatically lead to continuous success, as Kimi reached only the fifth position in the Sunday training, but on the long run integrity leads to sustainability. Thanks to this, Ferrari can celebrate this year its 70th company anniversary and Kimi already 16 years in the world’s highest and most competitive race series, including crowning his career with the driver title in 2007.
Corporate values are a positive message and organizations shall communicate them adequately, internally, but also to the external shareholders. In the case of Ferrari, their website proudly presents and explains them:
- Individual & Team
- Emotion & Integrity
- Tradition & Innovation
- Passion & Excellence
- Henz, Patrick (2016): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”
- Henz, Patrick (2017): “Compliance is a Race Car.”