“Ethos” is a word that means “character” as well as a moral nature, a set of ideas or beliefs of a person or group of people, the clear spirit of a nation or era.

For us, ‘Ethos’ is the most appropriate word to describe the first of our Futurist Workshops designed to increase the level of organizational health and prosperity. Values ​​lie at its core. It is the same notion as the terminology used by Stephen Covey representing the eternal principles which form the ethics of character and long-term success. Even though for some people this still sounds odd, we believe the living values (not the fictitious ones) underlie the future success of a company. The future of marketing – Marketing 03, the future of the main competitive business advantage – people, the future of management – authentic leadership, all of them have something in common. This common thing is called values.

Why? Because values are the soul of the company. A company without values is a company without a soul. In hard times it leads to failure because there is no basis on which to build trust within it. The values for a company that help to form its identity have the same meaning as a Constitution for the citizens of a state. If “Constitution is the legal regulator with the highest rank regarding the fundamental values and principles defining the way of state government” the same can be said about the values of a company. They are its ‘meta-rules’, i.e. the rules, which help when there are confusions, difficulties, lack of clarity in decision making, conflicts and strife and which cannot be solved through lesser rules (similar to the laws in the country).

The values exist because of this – to help clarify confusions, the finding of common goals in cases of disagreement, seeking the right decision. They are the Main Rules. That is why they are so important. The issue is not that they do not exist. Almost all present-day companies have a list of basic values that help to build their identity. The difficulty is the observation of those values. This stems from the lack of understanding of how they can be really incorporated into people’s current working day in the organization. This would give them vitality and strength and the company gains a soul that has a future.

We, people from Futurist, work easily with the topic of values because for us they are very living matter. Like Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, who said: “Make compromises with everything except your core values.” We believe we cannot compromise with our soul. We want to support the process in which the organization’s values come alive and a main competitive advantage for the future is created – people who are motivated to give their best, who are inspired by the values of the organization and with which they can identify.

The aim of the ‘ETHOS’ workshop is to translate a company’s values into the language of the employees and their daily work. This means the workshop participants should see that the values are not something abstract but something very concrete. Something that is a guideline for daily decision making – in good and difficult times. This is an authentic organization in action, where identity, means and purpose are internally consistent.