The next paradigm in business development in the 21st century is taking a clue from the self-growth industry of the 20th century....what's important to you?
Ok, so when did "values" get to be such a buzz word in business? Of course your familiar with the importance of values in your personal life…it defines everything you do, what's important to you and how you make your choices. But values in business? Isn't business supposed to be about making money?
Welcome to the 21st century and the next paradigm of business! The reality is that the old concept of how to do business is dead. It failed, quite miserably in fact, in case you hadn't noticed the largest economic downturn since WWII. The old paradigms of exploitation, competition and profit-at-any-cost have built empires on foundations of sand and they have finally crumbled!
In the 21st century businesses are taking a cue from the self-help gurus of the 20th century and are asking "What is important to me?" and "How can I make things better?" You do that by understanding your values and how that changes your paradigm of doing business. When you understand what is important to you about your business it becomes something different than "just work". When business becomes more than "just work" you enter the next paradigm - Values-Based™ Business!
To help you identify Values-Based Businesses and give a context to this conversation here are a few attributes common to these businesses:
- Collaboration vs. competition becomes the main approach
- Sustainable environmental practices
- Sustainable business practices
- Social-value becomes a common theme
- Cutting edge business
- Highly passionate/motivated workers
What really sets apart Values-Based Businesses is their reason for being in business. Just as following your values changes the direction and motivation of your life, it is the core motivation of values that moves businesses into the next paradigm. But the real question to understand is "Why values?"
If you think about it, the introduction of values into business is just a natural evolution from the 20th-century personal growth cycle into the 21st-century business growth cycle. During the late 20th century and first decade of the 21st-century, most businesses were focused on becoming green and making sure that all of their work met appropriate environmental standards. Now businesses are seeking to engage appropriate social standards to meet the evolving awareness of society. Values-Based Business is a natural evolution of society's own personal growth.
The old paradigms of exploitation, competition and profit-at-any- cost quite simply aren't sustainable as they use up the resources without replenishing them. As society launches headlong into a new era with new opportunities and new challenges it has become imperative that businesses think beyond just the next quarter's profits. For the first time in history, society is realizing the true reality that some critical resources might become exhausted. The values businesses are focusing on are simply a reflection of the personal values society has already identified.
By shifting to the next paradigm of Values-Based Business society continues to move itself forward in its own evolution. But the shift to values is more than just a new approach it is an entirely new model of business. Just as in personal growth it becomes important to pay attention to the actual progress being made. When transitions happen it can become easy to fall back into old patterns. Profit is still an important motivation for being in business, but it is no longer the only motivation.
The reason society is looking to engage Values-Based Business is because that is exactly what is missing! So "Why values?" you ask? Because values are what was lost in the last paradigm and sustainability is the latest evolution of the old paradigm. In personal growth values are the critical component to success, In the 21st century values will be the critical component to our survival.
Can you think of any better reason to add values to business?
Learn more about the author, Angel True.
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