Organizations tend to get lost in what they think is expected from them, instead of sticking to what they stand for. Stephan Ummelen believes that value driven companies are better companies: “When I realized this, I quit my job as a CEO at an advertizing agency and started to focus exclusively on values in organizations”. “My own moment of evolution came when I realized that everybody is taught to be like others while others tend to like people that are themselves. Since then, I have tried to focus on that which inspires me”. Currently, Stephan does international research on the authenticity of core values at large organizations and is partner at a small consultancy focussed on value driven organizations. He is 33, likes philosophy, and lives together in Nijmegen with his girlfriend and their Dachshund.

Companies are based on relationships. The duration of these relationships is dependent on the realness of your core values. Stephan emphasis on the importance of companies to use real core values. Instead, companies often act on make believe marketing by basing an organization on made up core values. Management decides what’s important for the rest of the company.

Stephan says: we need to communicate what we do, not what we say we do. Overpromising and under delivering are bad for relationships.

To visualize this statement Stephan poses as the CEO of a big company. “Me and the management team have thought of three core values, why you get up every morning. We’re Passionate, we believe in Sustainability and we are Professional. With everything you do, I want you to ask yourself. Is it PSP proof? Now, do you feel connected to PSP than before my speech? No? You’re all fired!”

If we want to evolve, we need to find the time to discover what’s really important to us and act on this.

“If you believe, what I believe. You need to keep it real.”