Business is no different. Profit making cannot be thought of as the only goal. Being financially sustainable is a necessity but not the end goal, much as breathing is a necessity of life, but not the meaning of life. Those in business who want their business to reflect more than profit making will tend to come up with mission statements and clarify their values as a business.
Creating a list of values and a mission statement became something of a fad for companies over the last couple of decades. However, the effort has mostly served as publicity. Most employees, or even executives, have no idea of the values or mission statement under which their company is based, and often create a culture that expresses the opposite values they claim to stand for.
How can you have a principle/value based company? How can you create a mission statement that is not destined to become a slogan to hang in the cafeteria or to mention only in the stock holders reports?
The most important factor in creating a value based organization lies in your motivation. If you truly believe in having a values based company it can’t be because you think doing so will make you and your company more profitable (even though that can certainly be a side benefit). Rather, it is because you understand human values as intrinsic motivators. The pursuit and aspiration of peace, integrity, wellness, or joy is life-giving in of in itself. When the members of your organization are consistent in their efforts to align their actions to their values, and are expected and rewarded to do so, their full potential will be unleashed. Success is not guaranteed in this world, but a strong and ethical organization can develop many markings of success.
Do you have a mission statement and shared values? More importantly, are they the compass that determine every decision, big and small, in your organization? Or are your decisions based solely on profits and the bottom line? What are you communicating through your actions?
I will be writing a series of posts and videos on value based organizations. I hope you can join me and share some of your comments.