Why you want to be part of a value-driven business.

Value driven organizations have a sense of purpose that supercedes profit. Yet value driven businesses are rapidly becoming some of the best models of financially successful companies. They find their competition and motivation comes from within, to strive to be better–a better solution, a better employer, a better citizen. They strive to outperform themselves, to constantly improve. In so doing, they set standards for the rest of the us.

One of the most common approaches in business today is “beat the competition”. Yet, most companies do so by hiring talent (employees or consultants) from within the industry, benchmarking competitors and asking customers what they want to see done better. What that breeds is sameness. Companies end up adopting industry views on best practice, a competitors’ new product or service, or solve customer problems without providing advancements in how business is done.

But there is a breed of business that is approaching the market differently and seeing great growth as a result. Leaders of these companies have set a strong set of values, and operate with those in mind, deploying creative thinking to find solutions that cut across industries, anticipate customers’ needs they can’t yet articulate for themselves.

These companies translate their values into strategy and stay relentlessly focused on it. Who are these companies? Many are in the news. Zappos, Southwest, Build-a-Bear, Chik-fil-a, Cranium to name a few. Please help add to the list with your comments.

Each and every one of these companies chose a different approach to their market and it worked. It worked because the leaders had a passion for the underlying values with which they approached business and built their business model around.

Bill Taylor, author of Mavericks at Work; Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win, says, “the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for a truly distinctive set of ideas about where your industry should be going. You can’t do big things as a competitor if you are content with doing things only a little better than your competitor. The best way to outperform the competition is to outhink the competition.”

Determine what your values are: Faith, Give Back, Family centered entertainment, Employees Rock (you can match these to the companies above) and build a business around it. You will find the rewards run deep: you have a business you are passionate about, you feel good everyday, you work harder and smarter because you want to and as a result, you win!

Please share your comments and your nominees of value driven companies. We hope to feature many of them in future Corporate Strategic Leadership publications.

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