Building a Business- Core Values
June 11, 2010
Charlie and I are thrashing around (I’m borrowing that term from Seth Godin) trying to find more meaningful work. Work that is easy on the planet- work that is redemptive. There is so much to the background of this story- and I’ll tell the story as I’m ready (it’s a little overwhelming). Donald Miller had a great article the other day on his blog about core values. Your core values as a human being matter- they frame your decisions, and they give structure to the way that you spend your time. As Charlie and I are just embarking on starting a new business, I’ve been thinking about our core values for our business. This is a work in progress- we’re still working them out. To be honest, Charlie has been so busy the last few days that we haven’t really had much of a chance to talk about this. He’s a wise man, so when you read my attempt, just know that Charlie hasn’t added his two cents yet. With that caveat, we’ve talked a lot around this topic, so there are glimmers of his heart in this. Here’s my best shot:
1. Matthew 6:10 (from The Message) “Set the world right; Do what’s best- as above, so below.” God created us to be in right relationship with Him and with others. We’ve messed that up. We hurt each other. We hurt the planet. We don’t treat others as we should. In our business, we want to try to do right by people. Try to bring healing. Try to use ingredients that have been produced by people who have dignity in their work. We’ll do this imperfectly. But, please do hold us to this as a core value.
2. We want to use high quality ingredients. Organic- absolutely. Fair Trade when it’s available. We want to use clean ingredients. Ingredients that are pure. Ingredients that haven’t been touched by human cruelty.
3. We want to be very careful about packaging. Less is more. I would like to see no waste going to the landfill as a result of our business. We’ll see how creative we can be with this.
4. We want to create a “best in class” product that serves the needs of our customers.
5. We want to be transparent in our business practices. From the books to how our product is made. No secrets. Okay- maybe exact amounts of each fat or essential oil that we use will be shushed.
6. If we get to the place where we have employees, we want to treat them well. Look for linchpins; not line workers.
7. We also want to sell high quality Fair Trade goods at some point as a way to participate in bringing redemption to the developing world. If you’re curious about why, I would suggest watching the documentary “Life and Debt”. I’ll be writing more about this in the coming months.
If you have thoughts on this, we’d love to hear from you.