There's no shortage of books on how to run small businesses, but few of them cover the special value — and special challenges — of socially responsible business practices for small- or medium-size companies. "Values-Driven Business addresses that gap. The first entry in Ben Cohen's new "Social Venture Network series, this guide uses real-world examples to show how "triple bottom line" practices — profits, people, and planet — have helped companies throughout North America thrive. The book contains first steps that owners or managers can use to start narrowing the gap between personal values and business practices. It also illustrates the many dimensions of value-driven business, addressing the varied roles of customers, employees, the community, the environment, shareholders, and owners. Included is a self-assessment tool that lets readers determine how successful their company will be in implementing values-driven practices.
There's no shortage of books on how to run small businesses
But the specialised literature dealing with the increasingly high-profile topic of "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) deals almost exclusively with the concerns of large corporations.
There is no widely available information about the special value-and special challenges-of socially responsible business practices for small- or medium-size companies.
Values-Driven Business fills this gap. This book responds to changes in American culture as much as it does to changing attitudes in the business community. The marketplace is becoming increasingly concerned about where and how products are produced and how well employees are treated. Companies can no longer focus exclusively on making profits and ignore their employees' personal and family aspirations, the needs of the communities where they do business, and the burden they place on the natural environment.
Ben Cohen is one of the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, president of business leaders for sensible priorities and a founding member of the Social Venture Network. He is the coauthor of Ben & Jerry's Double Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money Too.
Mal Warwick is chair of the Social Venture Network Advisory Board and is the cofounder of Mal Warwick and Associates, a fund raising and direct marketing agency that has serves non-profit organisations.