Values-Based Business: A Reading List

As a social (or socially-focused) business, articulating and continually revisiting “The Why” of your venture is one of the most critical activities.  At Joma Bakery Cafe and other social businesses I have worked with we’ve approached this process by focusing on core values.  One business cannot resolve all of society’s inequalities or the market’s failures; leaders have to carefully choose their core values and where they can and wish focus their resources.

As I prepared for these change programs and looked for inspiration, I read a number of books about values-based businesses.  I referenced a few of these texts during a panel discussion at the Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference and thought I would share a full list here:

  1. Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time and Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul by Howard Schultz
  2. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
  3. The Responsible Company by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley
  4. Raising the Bar: The Story of Clif Bar Inc. by Gary Erickson
  5. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
  6. Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner (an online resource)
  7. The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling by Stephen Denning
  8. Build Your Company’s Vision by James Collins (Sept. 1996 Harvard Business Review)

I would also recommend the following videos and podcasts:

  1. How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility and Profits (Patagonia) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. Making Meaning in Your Company and Don’t Write a Mission Statement, Write a Mantra by Guy Kawasaki
  4. We Had to Own the Mistakes” and Starbucks’ Turnaround with Howard Schultz (HBR Ideacast)

~ by responsiblenomad on October 4, 2012.

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