All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process. I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable. It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.
Small business is the engine that drives many of the economies around the world. Small business doesn’t have the resources of large corporations. However, if they network together – the sum of the whole becomes greater than the individual parts. Well-designed collaboration based on an effective system and strategy can lead to small business success.
However, in the final analysis, the true foundation for success rests in an organization’s culture. In fact, I believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast. An organization needs a sound strategy to succeed but, it needs a great culture to excel. For me, that approach has been about creating core values around a culture of collaboration.
Core values establish culture. It’s never too late or too early to think about your core values in business and in life. Here are my core values:
- The Philosophy of Givers Gain®(What goes around comes around).
- Building Meaningful Relationships
- Lifelong Learning
- Traditions + Innovation
- Positive Attitude
I believe that it is possible to make a good living while serving a greater good. The core values I have tried to apply in my life and in my business have helped to create a culture of collaboration within the context of building a business. This approach is not only a great way to get business, I believe it is an even better way to do business.
Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.
I have a big hairy audacious goal (a BHAG) for businesses around the world. I believe we can “Change the Way the World Does Business” and we can do that by incorporating core values into our business that support collaboration and positive meaningful relationships.
We are coming up on the 30th anniversary for my company (BNI) and I believe that our focus on these core values, philosophy, and vision are responsible for our 30 years of consecutive growth. Through strong economies and serious recessions – my organization has grown year in and year out for 30 years without exception. Few organizations can say that. I think that is a testament to our approach to doing business.
Have you given thought to your organization’s core values? If so, share your company’s core values here. I’d love to hear your comments.