Old Time Jukebox“Fidelity” is a word rarely heard today and perhaps less frequently thought of. More than loyalty, fidelity signifies a faithfulness, a loyalty to a purpose. It is one of the minor virtues.”‘Virtue” is another word rarely heard today.

The four primary virtues – temperance, prudence, courage, and justice – signify a path of moral excellence. Virtues are foundational aspects of all major philosophies and religions. In work, the virtues or values of a business, are a fundamental and foundational component of the business and signify a path of business excellence.

In the recent past, “fidelity” was used frequently when referring to “high fidelity” recordings. RCA made fidelity or hi-fi a household word in the marketing of vinyl records and audio equipment. The fidelity of a recording was an indication of the loyalty or accuracy of the recording to the original. Today the fidelity of any given recording is assumed to be accurate; although audiophiles, hi-fi enthusiasts, know this is far from the truth.

In today’s business landscape, the fidelity of the business, or the intended purpose of the business, is critical. When creating a business plan, a lot of time is invested on developing a meaningful mission, vision, and values. In this context, fidelity is a measurement of accuracy to purpose. It is a promise of performance. A promise of performance to customers, employees, shareholders – a promise to all stakeholders. How many companies are measuring the accuracy of their purpose?

Loyalty with purpose, a promise with intention, is a critical success factor. Yet, in an increasingly ever-changing business climate, fidelity seems old-fashioned, even passé. That is until we experience the need to understand why a business or a program isn’t working anymore.

How closely did a business deliver the stated purpose? Does your company measure its fidelity?

“Trust is a mark of courage and fidelity is a mark of a strength.” – Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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