Values-based business is especially for you if you’re committed to magnifying your organisation’s social or environmental impact while also ensuring that your method of working is sustainable.

It means putting your values front-and-centre in your business and ensuring that your impact is as positive as possible, not only on your clients, but also your staff, suppliers, community and any other stakeholders.

Our global population largely organises itself into work structures.

In many instances, corporations can be the most powerful global institution in the world today and one of the most important levers for change.

Regardless of the size of an organisation – from a transnational monolith to a tiny one (wo)man band – work takes up a great chunk of the middle years of life.

Our working life brings far more than just an income: it can define our identity, enable us to explore our talents and personal predilections, it can be satisfy our desire for creative self-expression, give us a sense of progress and contribution, and enable us to be greater than the sum of our parts. 

Regardless of the specifics of a business’s values, some degree of openness and transparency is required for values-based businesses to function. This includes a willingness to ask yourself the hard questions when things don’t go as planned.

Values-based business is both

personal and public

The personal remit of values-based business includes:

  • Becoming clear on your personal values and the particular impact you want your work to make in broader society
  • Becoming clear on the personal reasons why you’re drawn to serve your particular market segment, and ensuring that you’re not working from unaddressed dysfunctions or unresolved trauma
  • Understanding your particular strengths and the particular conditions you need in which to thrive, so you can design a work routine that encourages the best in you
  • Understanding your personal lifestyle goals so that you can design a business model that enables this.

The internal communications remit of values-based business includes:

  • Documenting the values of the organisation and disseminating these throughout the organisation so that these key business values can act as guiding principles to dictate behaviour and can help your organisation’s people to quickly make decisions

  • Core values also help businesses to determine if they are on the right path, to measure progress against, and to course-correct where necessary.

The public remit of values-based business includes:

  • Focusing on your core values and ensuring your staff, business processes, suppliers and ecosystem are reflecting this

  • Measurements and checks to ensure that the core values are being
  • Ensuring your marketing communications makes your top values clear so that you can attract ideal clients that share the same values as you
  • Constant vigilance to ensure that your organisation’s values, words, and actions are in alignment
  • Encouraging collaboration, honesty, transparency, and inclusiveness within your organisation to guard against cronyism, hierarchy and the erosion of your values

Values-based business is a twenty-first-century phenomenon that falls within the broader umbrella of social enterprise. Social enterprise grew out of the desire for a more values-based approach to business and the limited effectiveness of not-for-profit organisations, whose donation-model is being increasingly squeezed by government ……

Values-based business is a relatively new concept though, no doubt, an old practice, and therefore does not have broad consensus on its definition.


values-based business is NOT:



Virtue signalling


Jumping on a trending news topic in an attempt to gain publicity


Being relentlessly positive


Appropriating culture or practices that have no connection with the owner or organisation.

A values-based business establishes a core set of values that represent who the company is, guides how it conducts its business, and acts as the check and balance on behaviour, decisions, hiring and firing, and training and development.

Implemented well, values-based business leads to a cohesive workforce that operates with transparency and trust, is proactive, has greater loyalty, and increased productivity.

Learn values-based business