Christmas is Always: Why Interpersonal Values are Relevant for Business


Every year, just in time for Christmas, we reflect on the importance of emotional values as essential elements of our personality and our relationship with other people. At no other time of the year do the soft factors of human interaction come to the forefront of our communication.

In the business world, strategy, planning, product features, quality, IT, process optimization, or savings potentials are displaced as a matter of course.

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In fact, this focus offers a great opportunity: After all, the ability to understand the significance of feelings for one’s own actions and those of others, and to systematically incorporate them into business systems and decisions, offers great, often untapped potential.

In a highly competitive environment, those companies that understand the importance of their own corporate culture as an indispensable component of their competitiveness have an advantage.

This involves, on the one hand, the aspect of why – or purpose, as it is now called – and, on the other hand, the question of how or the values or principles of action and interaction with one another.

This complex construct emerges and changes in a dynamic process as a product of internal and external factors, such as social norms and values.

For this reason, beyond their products and services, companies should always see themselves as a mirror of the times and understand external debates as welcome stimuli and constant opportunities for internal change – without blindly chasing the zeitgeist.

Living values has long been part of the internal and external image

Cultural renewal and adaptation have long since become a decisive factor for a company’s future viability.

For example, the topic of diversity and inclusion is not just a social phenomenon, but is now highly relevant and has concrete implications with regard to the ability to recruit talent and retain it in a company over the long term.

What does this mean in concrete terms?

First of all, the question of a company’s cultural compatibility with the values of its employees is an integral part of responsible management.

Thus, the reference to economic necessities functions as a primacy over the question of why economic action at Volkswagen, the church or, most recently, FC Bayern Munich.

Identification with an organization or brand is measured to a large extent in the currency of cultural identification with one’s own values.

This applies both to internal relationships and to (potential) customers.

Living positive values increases satisfaction

Or to put it more pointedly: The contribution of (m)any company to my personal happiness can no longer be measured in terms of monetary compensation or the price of a product.

An open management culture, transparency and room for maneuver as well as participation in decision-making processes at all levels is the sine qua non of the hour.

So Christmas is always. At least for those who use these mechanisms consciously and out of conviction, and consistently understand them as a strategic management tool – gift-giving included.


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  • Hanning Kempe

    Hanning Kempe ist seit 2012 CEO von FleishmanHillard in Deutschland. Mit über 25 Jahren in der Kommunikationsbranche ist er ein gesuchter Ratgeber für Themen wie Dialog Management, Unternehmensstrategie, Unternehmenskommunikation, Change-und Krisenkommunikation sowie Issues Management. Sein Schwerpunkt liegt auf den Branchen...

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