The foundation for businesses to withstand the uncertainty of the pandemic

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Mr. Le Quoc Vinh, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Association for the Development of Corporate Culture (VNABC), Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Director of Le Invest Group.

In your opinion, what is the relationship between brand value and corporate culture in the operation and development of businesses?

Culture here should not be mechanically defined only as the surface activity of the business, but rather the foundation for creating relationships, behavior and values trusted by members of the business.

Those cultural values are the foundation of the business. Any business, when formed, has already created its own culture, but through the process of mobilization, it will be subject to many external influences. Therefore, culture is a strategy for the development of corporate brands. Many people still mistakenly believe that a brand is something that businesses draw, forming “clothing” to wear. In fact, the core value of the brand lies in its essence, with cultural regulations.

How will the changes from the Covid-19 pandemic affect the process of building corporate culture, sir?

The culture is shaped right from the start of the business, on the way that the business owner builds the brand. However, corporate culture must be enriched with new values in each specific stage of the development in order to push certain values or moderate some other values, depending on the environment and situation of development and business activities of each enterprise.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in relationships within businesses. Particularly, many relationships were broken and affected, so it was forced to reconsider the core values that were built in the development process of the business. These are mandatory requirements, because corporate culture helps to connect internal activities, maintain business operations, and create momentum for businesses to develop in the “new normal” period.

This can create new values, new modes of operation and other ways of building relationships, helping businesses to be more resilient in the uncertain changes of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, how the culture will change, how will it affect the development of Vietnamese businesses are big questions that need answers. Of course, there is no universal answer to these questions, because each business has a different “acceleration”. Instead, there can still be a general formula for businesses to choose and learn to change business activities.

You have mentioned the “acceleration of culture” of the business in the new context; could you please share more specifically about this concept?

In the economy, “acquisition of culture” is one of the issues that directly affects the development process, the expansion of activity and production scale and labor force employment to join the integration trend of business. In the process of social movement or business activities, there are interferences of many different cultures which will likely lead to changes and shifts in the way of introducing new cultural values of individuals, organizations and businesses, thereby having an impact on business operations.

In recent years, especially since the “Building Vietnamese corporate culture” campaign was launched by the Prime Minister, businesses have become very aware of the importance of creating corporate culture.

Corporate culture must reflect the characteristics of the enterprise and must be suitable for the development goals of the enterprise. But this “acquisition” also pushes us to reconsider the way we receive and choose appropriate values to apply in business performance. Enterprises need to absorb foreign knowledge, experience, ways of thinking, management, production and business models, but also have to have creative application to the actual situation of Vietnam.

In particular, under the negative impact all over the world due to the Covid- 19 pandemic, the issue of “cultural acculturation” is raised to encourage Vietnamese businesses to consult and learn from both domestic and overseas enterprises to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and to recover the economy, towards sustainable economic development and associated with development in all pillars: economy, culture – society and environment.

Due to the limited financial capacity and scale of the majority of Vietnamese businesses today, is it too much to put on the “clothing” of corporate culture?

Culture does not necessarily depend on the financial capacity of the business, because culture is the belief, behavior and shared values in the business. This depends on the culture of the people in the business, especially the culture of the leader. Business leaders and founders have imposed their beliefs on businesses, but through the process of economic change and business development, this value will be impacted by other external factors.

For example, during a period when business founders will hire a CEO, this director’s culture will be an acculturation factor, affecting the culture as well as members of the organization. The value of corporate culture is also created by the employees themselves. These values will be shaped through the development of the business.

Corporate culture is not a constant value, but will be a guideline for business activities of the enterprise. Corporate culture will also be the driving force for business development, the social mission of the business, the core value that other values will revolve to jointly create strong and sustainable development for each business.

Thank you very much!

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