I am a value driven person. In several occasions I have been told that my values won't be the key for running a successful business, especially when I do not take customers because of misalignment around core values. So I begun a search for the answer.
I believe that there are two types of business: transactional and transformational. In a time of change occurring at unprecedented speed due to globalisation, technology, economicdisruption and much more, we might struggle to identify what our core values are. The farther we get from our values, the more business feels a transaction.
The identity of a thriving business that wants to bring transformation and not only offer transactions is made out of a strong value system. Despite the fact that the vast majority of organisations spend time and energy to define company˙ values most of these often go unnoticed or get lost into the day to day attempt to survive and remaining competitive. There is a tendency to consider those values only for the good times when there is no stress or crises to be managed…is there such an option?
The more we separate from our values the more we separate from the world around us, leading to higher stress and lack of engagement. It is not a coincidence that only 32% of employee in US are engaged and only 13% in the global workforce (source Gallup).
Values provide us with a framework for how to run business, raise our families and more simply how to be - show up - in the world. How we decide to leave our mark on the world.
As a business founder I constantly ask myself: “ how am I transforming the lives of the people I connect with? Is my business aligned with my core values? Am I adding value?”
The first focus of any thriving business I believe is developing and adding value. Adding value not only to external customers but also to the internal ones. This is what makes a business transformational and not transactional.
When we lead with our values, as leaders, company founders, as individuals overall, we providea clear definition and core structure for decision-making and relationship-building. Values, asMahatma Gandhi once said, become our destiny.
When we lead with our values, the impact on people and society must become the first priority. When we think in those terms we become more interested in transformational relationship rather than transactional relationship. To be a transformational leader, and run a transformational business wehave to be willing to put in the time and effort to build mutually beneficial relationships. There is here the temptation to think that only leaders have to focus and exert transformation. But deep and lasting change happens only when enough of us also want to help positive change take root.
True transformation will only be sustained by creating a culture of transformation. It is a process that motivates people by appealing to higher ideals, defining and articulating a vision of the future and forming a base of credibility. Conversely, transactional business is based on bureaucracy and organisational standards.
When businesses focus more consciously and shift from merely receiving to giving, some “magic” happens: it generates more ideas about how we can improve other people's lives and businesses. By contributing more, more opportunities and deeper relationships will open up.
Some people have asked me also why I do focus more on collaboration rather than competition and raised their concerns on the chances of success with such approach.
I believe that what we can do on our own is limited and that people who are competing are more focused on winning than creating real solutions. Collaboration instead creates connections. I am a believer that collectively we become more impactful than individually. By developing strategic "win-win" partnerships in which our skill sets and assets merge with the skill sets and assets of someone else we reach higher transformational potential. It is as simple as 1+1 = more than two. When we work alone we stuck in our own worldview while together we become aware of a largerview. If we then are capable to practise inclusion our goals and idea become bigger too. The whole becomes different from the sum of its parts. It becomes bigger.
True transformation must be about something a lot deeper than ourselves and our profits. When it is, we exert integrity in the work we do.
To conclude, what are then those values I referred to at the beginning of these article? I am driven by: integrity, inclusion, kindness and humility. If you too are lead by them please get in contact with me for a transformational collaboration.