5 Common Value-Driven Business Challenge & Tips To Overcome

Values are the engine that drives a company to success. But, while adapting a values-driven business model comes with many benefits, it is not always easy to implement. Also, it often comes with many business challenge.

These challenges make it hard to enjoy the many benefits that come with value-driven businesses, such as:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased business resilience
  3. Building a solid team that is more innovative
  4. Delivering high-quality products and services.

This article explains these business challenges in more detail and provides some quick tips on how to overcome them. But first, a brief definition of what a value-driven business is all about.

What is a Values-Driven Business?

A value-driven business is one with a culture of shared values among all the employees. Running a value-driven business means making decisions based on specific values that are a core part of how the organization operates.

The employees in such a business will align personal values with the organization’s values. The management also leads by example as they live by the values they promote.

Value-based businesses differ from the traditional structure, which is a more rigid and machine-like establishment. Traditional systems focus more on an authoritarian relationship type between the employees and management.

5 Common Value-Driven Business Challenge

Value-driven businesses are set up differently and will differ in several aspects, including the specific values they follow. Therefore, the challenges they are likely to encounter when using this business model are also different. However, here are 5 of the most common ones.

1. Consistency Issues

Consistency is perhaps the most prominent business challenge that many values-driven organizations will face, and there are many reasons for this.

First, the business needs skilled facilitators to drive high values, which means spending more money. And given the limited resources, many companies might not always afford to pay for professional facilitators.

Secondly, it takes a lot of effort, and it is still not easy to hire and retain the right talent that can help maintain the values. Therefore, it is hard to preserve values consistently as you almost always have some new employees.

2. Failure To Institutionalize Values

While many businesses will have their values posted all over, from their website to physical offices, very few manage to institutionalize and make them a core part of their functioning.

Failing to institutionalize the values means they remain just words written somewhere with little to no impact on how the organization runs.

3. Trickle Down Values

Whether intentional or not, all the values in a values-driven business model will flow from the top management down to the employees.

This trickle-down model is a huge challenge because employees see the values more as directions from someone with authority to fire and hire. Hence, they are more like part of the job and not actual values that drive them to work towards the success of the business.

Also, with values flowing from the top, the success largely depends on whether the management abides by them or not. If the formulator abides by the values, everyone else attunes to them, but if they do not, people lose faith in the company values.

4. Using Generic Values

Another common challenge will come from businesses using values that are too generic. These values often have a broad meaning and are open to various interpretations depending on how one understands them.

Here is a list of a few commonly used values that are too generic:

  1. Integrity
  2. Communication
  3. Respect
  4. Commitment to excellence

While these sound like strong values when you look at them objectively, they are aspirational and will not have the necessary tension, meaning they will not help employees make good decisions to help the business prosper.

5. Keeping Values Static

Sometimes the only reason your values-driven business does not seem to be working well is that you are using static values. No matter how good your values might appear, they need to evolve and change as your business grows.

You have to continuously measure and reflect to determine the effectiveness of your values in driving your business to success. Also, make sure you collect feedback from employees and use it to adjust your values.

Tips For Overcoming Values-Driven Business Challenge

Running a value-driven business comes with many challenges, but there are also several ways to overcome them. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  1. Always use values to determine who joins your business.
  2. Ensure values are connected to behaviours with the top management leading by example.
  3. Uses values for performance reviews and employee rewarding.
  4. Make the values part of the day to day life.
  5. Values should evolve with your company and change as the business scales.


Values-driven businesses tend to be highly successful as there is a common culture pushing everyone to work harder towards the organization’s success.

Although they still face many challenges like any other business model, most of these setbacks are reasonably easy to overcome.

The most important thing is to ensure that the values are part of everything you do and are action-centred, not just words that sound good on paper.

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