There are an overwhelming number of books published on the challenges of running large companies. And while approximately 50% of the U.S. workforce work for large companies (500 workers or more), the other 50% work for or own smaller scale businesses. Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream fame) and Mal Warwick redress this imbalance in their new book Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun
, which lays out the roadmap for starting and running a business while staying true to one’s own ethics and values.
Cohen and Warwick address changes both in the culture of modern-day business as well as in the larger culture of America itself. These changes are reflected in the marketplace by the evergrowing demand of consumers for products that are NOT produced in an environmentally damaging manner, as well as for companies that treat their employees with dignity, respect, and decent pay. And, the authors lay out a roadmap for entrepreneurs who want to bring these values of environmentally sound products and respect for their employees to the businesses that they own.
Cohen and Warwick use case studies from companies such as Clif Bar, Eileen Fisher Inc, ShoreBank, Working Assets, and many more to show how the "triple bottom line" of profits, people, and planet have helped companies throughout North America grow and thrive.
The book also contains practical resources for business owners or managers who want to narrow the gap between their personal values and their business practices, including a self-assessment tool that enables the owner or manager to determine how her or his company can begin implementing values-driven business practices. Cohen and Warwick also illustrate the many dimensions of values-driven businesses, addressing the varied roles of their customers, employees, shareholders or owners, and the communities in which they operate.