Values & Sustainability: Orientation for Media Business Success

The world is becoming more and more uncertain. The future is harder to predict than in any time before. What works now might be totally different tomorrow. Leading a company in such uncertain times is often looking like a gamble. How can one guide the fate of a company if one cannot trust that the action taken today is completely obsolete in a blink of an eye?

The solution for sustainable success is value-based sustainability management as an underlying paradigm of all your strategic decisions. Values are a guiding compass for any business leader, who wants to build a successful, long-term, sustainable strategy. Values function like a lighthouse: they provide orientation in turbulent times and show you where you need to focus on. 

Values and Sustainability are two sides of the same coin. One usually assumes that values are not just a trend but rather a more solid fixture in your life. They are there for you to weather a storm and look at the wider impact of your action. Values are like a linchpin that holds all your strategies and tactics together. Any value system that you subscribe to is typically meant to be a sustainable framework and should be deeply ingrained in your thinking. It needs to have also a very solid anchorage in your entire organization. A value-driven organization is far more stable and successful than a short-term venture, that is fishing for trends and quick wins only. 

Values will only work for you and your organization, if they are a good fit. If values are forced onto you or your company culture it will not bring any success. Such a misfit will be a constant source of all kinds of problems: people will not want to work for you, customers will see you as a fraud and business will falter eventually. You hence need to look at the value system very carefully if it does make a good match to how your organization does business, how the industry at large is reacting to it and whether the essence of your values are the right guideline to make the business sustainable.

Hence, as values meant in their very own nature to be a driver of sustainability, the concept of sustainability is a core value of any good business strategy these days. Sustainability is, therefore, becoming an integral part of successful value systems and business models. That is now also true for any media enterprise. 

The very idea of a business enterprise is to create value. In its simplest meaning we consider value as a pure commercial benefit: the monetary component of a successful business. However, true entrepreneurship and any successful business, that wants to stay around for generations, looks beyond the basic monetary aspect of an enterprise. The idea is always larger than the money in the bank account: it is always also about creating value and wealth by making an impact for many people (many generations to come, that is) and the world at large. 

With that thought in mind, sustainability is automatically a driver for value – and values focus on their sustainability impact viceversa. Values and Sustainability for an enterprise are about creating, doing and distributing something meaningful. Entrepreneurs want to create meaning through their work; employees want an attractive place of work, where they also have the feeling they do something use- and meaningful. Not having such values and not giving such sense of meaning to work is essentially killing the concept of entrepreneurship and work itself. It will also kill any business sooner or later as we can see all the time.

Finally, values create a sense of responsibility: for one to support and protect these values but even more to engrain them in your everyday work and strategy. It ultimately leads to responsible business practices and these again will always orient themselves on the long-term impact and sustainability.

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