Entrepreneurship is on the rise across the world and this trend only seems to grow stronger over the next-coming years. The rise of the global entrepreneurial class supersedes nationality. Many traditional corporates are struggling, as it is no longer enough to have a vision, mission and beliefs written in a company manifesto if it is not responding to peoples core values and demonstrated as being a good corporate citizen. However, there are successful corporates who are driven by a core set of values where their actions are consistent with their values. They have relied on their values and principles to define their business and guide them through tumultuous times where they have become stronger because of their commitment to values. Those transformational enterprises, so called “vanguards”, have set a new direction for business in the future and are successful and prosperous in their own right while being forces for good in communities and the wider world. They can be big and human, efficient but innovative, global and local at the same time. This model is not only good for business and society but also for the new generation of individuals who are looking for value-alignment.
Living by one’s core values in all areas of life is of crucial importance to have a satisfied and happy life. This has become obvious for more and more people, often discovered by feelings of unhappiness or frustration. When a person is aware of their core values they can align it to different aspects of their lives. As we spend much of our lives working, value-alignment at work is very important to achieve wellbeing.
The last year’s global financial crisis has resulted in extreme uncertainty for people across the world. Many large corporate have lost creditability both internally and externally as they have allowed money, internal politics and arrogance taken presidency over values like respect, humanity and honesty.
This has led to many people becoming frustrated and unhappy in the corporate environment and deciding to leave, focusing on working accordingly to their own values and beliefs. People today are therefore consciously looking for companies that are driven by a clear set of values that are aligned with their own values. Any company who wants to be successful for the future will therefore have to develop a clear value foundation that will steer their business, inspire their employees and that brings value to the world. Those companies will walk away from business that is inconsistent with their values and act as a force for raising standards in the world.
As many people are still unable to find this value-based approach in the corporate world, we will see more and more people becoming entrepreneurs, founding their companies on their own values and also striving to improve the world as social entrepreneurs.
Face your fears, live your dreams” is a viable motto for many of today’s entrepreneurs. Being a corporate high-flyer is no longer the answer of their dreams. Follow your passions and values, taking responsibility for your destiny is.
In the future, smaller and larger businesses that share the same values and philosophy, will be working together in new and innovative ways towards the same type of customers. This will lead to a more humanised and value-based society with individuals who are happy, satisfied and fulfilled as they are living life according to their core values.
“Values & Life Purpose” from Life Design module, International Coach Academy
Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter “Transforming Giants”, The Global Business Summit at Harvard Business School, (14 Oct 2008)
Kauffman Foundation (Oct 2011): “The study on Entrepreneurship”
BBC News Magazine (11 Oct 2011) “Why are Americans leaving good jobs to go solo?” by Kate Dailey, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15082998
Qualitative international study of 15 entrepreneurs who have left corporates and started their own businesses (April-June 2012)
Dr. Michele Lansdowne and Lisa Little Chief Bryan, “Entrepreneurship Curriculum” from the Salish and Kootenai tribes in Montana and the Lakota tribes in South Dakota
Entrepreneurship: “The values that sustain entrepreneurs” by Ray Smilor, President of Beyster Institute for Entrepreneurial Employee Ownership, http://www.entrepreneurship.org/en/resource-center/the-values-that-sustainentrepreneurs.aspx
Scott Hartley, “The rise of the Global Entrepreneurial Class”, Forbes (25 March 2012) http://www.forbes.com/sites/scotthartley/2012/03/25/conspicuous_creation/
Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “SuperCorp” (published Aug 2009)
Appendice – Survey questions in Quantitative Study
The qualitative survey consisted of 15 respondents across 7 nationalities. Out of the 15 respondents, 7 were men and 8 were women, age span 27-60.
1. Please give a short overview of your career.
2. What was your last position in a corporate and how would you describe it?
3. What was your reason to leave corporate life?
4. How did you feel when leaving corporate life?
5. How did family and friends react on your decision?
6. What have you done after leaving the corporate world?
7. In what ways have your life changed?
8. If you have started your own business, what are you focusing on and why?
9. What were your motivational drivers to start on your own?
10. What do you consider being the most significant differences between working for a corporate and working for yourself?
11. What are your core values in life?
12. What is your ideal future?
13. Would you consider going back to corporate life? Why?
14. Any other comments you would like to make?
Your response will be treated confidentially.
Thank you very much in advance for your participation!