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  • Writer's pictureLarry Washington

The Value Flip – Moving from profit to value system thinking.

I hung this Benjamin Franklin quote over our door so that we would see it every time we left our house. At first I thought it would be another way to teach my sons that good actions create value in their life and, yes, even in school! After using it, though, I found myself affected as much as them. It forced me to center my thoughts on my value system when I left the house. To think of the impact I have for good and bad on the people I interact with everyday. It reinforced my understanding that doing the right thing first, doing good, always ends profitably.

This thinking is at the center of the “Value Flip” that’s happening now across our country with businesses and brands. More and more examples continue to rise of companies seeing the true possibilities that a strong value system holds for business, customers and the world. It’s this thinking that’s changing how to define profit.

The Value Flip

Value Flipping is more than a business change or marketing ploy. It’s a mindset change. Instead of thinking that profit allows you to do good things, it’s coming to the understanding that good things actually allow you to profit. Of course businesses profit by cutting corners, ignoring standards, etc., but modern brands are proving that sort of thinking is no longer sustainable. Just the fact that Fortune Magazine puts out a top 10 “Change The World List” is a small example of the flip. Would Fortune put out a list like this 30 years ago? 20 years? 10?

Believe me, I know that valuing positive impact over profit is a scary step to take but the examples of success continue to grow.

If you do good, it will profit your business.

Heck, Benjamin Franklin knew this 200 years ago and he did pretty good for himself. Once you open your eyes to the power of your company’s value system you will never plan, strategize or create the same way again.

I use 4 key steps to help enhance or cause a Value Flip to happen successfully for businesses. Maybe they will help yours in some way.

1. Define your company’s Value System.

We’re not talking about brand value here. We’re talking about the foundational beliefs of your company. Some of which you use every day and some that you miss. Every time I help companies define their value system there’s always something new. Yes, every business has their company statements, but if you haven’t written a mantra that moves you emotionally, induces goosebumps or has you pumping your fist then, no, you haven’t done this step.

2. Spotlight your company’s practices. Yes, good and bad.

Be serious about this step when creating a summary of all your company’s business practices. Make sure you’re honest about the good and bad. Define all next steps. It’s smart to bring someone in that’s outside of your bubble to help you get it right.

3. Build the story of your Value System from the inside out.

Your employee family needs to believe just like your leadership does. Let them help you define your value system in a believable way. Put them inside the process. This is more than an internal campaign announcement, it’s a collaborative effort.

4. Build your believer base

Gather the true believers inside and outside of your business, whether consumer or B2B, and give them an outlet to support you. This base will prove incredibly profitable as you start to talk about your value system. Be brave with the bad stuff. If you show dedication to betterment you WILL win.

A businesses value system works just like a personal one. It’s deeper than your mission and vision and a lot more powerful. If you really want to improve the strength of your company and profit, you need to flip your focus to the value system your company holds.

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