Business Principles

5 Principles

The growing interdependence of our world requires business leaders who think and act differently, creating new value for both business and society. Through the shared efforts of our students, faculty and partners, the Center for Social Value Creation is enabling a movement to make 'creating a better world through business,' business as usual within the next generation. Our work is rooted in five Principles for Better Business that together aim to advance economic, social and environmental prosperity. When it comes to doing business better, this is where we start.

Lead with Integrity, Transparency and Purpose

1To lead with integrity, transparency and purpose implies a deep commitment to ethical action, regardless of circumstance. It requires discipline and authenticity. Leaders who act with this principle set the tone for their organization, and articulate a shared vision that facilitates dialogue, inspires loyalty and enhances brand credibility.

Embrace Stakeholders

2Shareholders need a return on investment, but business works best when it creates value for a range of stakeholders. Customers, employees, suppliers and society at large contribute to the stakeholder fabric that enables a business to thrive. When a business embraces stakeholders all parties benefit by building relationships of trust. It enables more meaningful work for employees,improves the livelihoods of suppliers, enhances the economic potential of communities and increases profits for shareholders.

Invest in the Long Term

3Sustainable prosperity requires us to look beyond quarterly profits, toward long-term economic, social and environmental wellbeing. Long-term success requires careful planning and a commitment to future generations. Business strategies that complement public priorities, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, can enable organizations to rightly invest in efficiency, resource conservation, infrastructure, education, responsible production and more.

Safeguard the Natural World

4Companies come in all types and sizes, but they universally depend on well-functioning ecological systems. That’s because all food, water and other materials that people consume daily derive from the natural world. Business has both an impact and dependency on these systems, and thus a vested interest in working with government and civil society to safeguard their future. Growing populations and threats to resource depletion increase the urgency.

Leverage Markets to Address Societal Challenges

5Business is not responsible for all the world’s problems, but it must take part in solving them. When focused on social and environmental challenges, market systems can drive scalable solutions that add value and don’t rely solely on philanthropy. Government and civil society have roles to play, but many positive outcomes can be generated with financial incentives. Rising demand for responsibly made goods and services underscores the opportunity to make the world better while pursuing economic success.