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What's Love got to do with it? Is Your Corp. Value Statement too Personal?

Yesterday I met with an established and reputable company that had an acrostic of its name with each letter standing for one of their principles.  

The "L" in their name stood for "Love".  Does that strike you as too personal a value for a company that wants to project an "all business" ethos?  

We have "Servanthood" in ours and I've wondered if that's too much for some people. Who else has seen "Love" promoted frontline this way?  How does that strike you?


Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

My guess is answers to this will be based on personal preferences rather than market requirements. Happy to give my two bits ...

Names have value in some instances - conveying an impression or as part of a marketing story with customers and employees. Beyond that the name doesn't drive the specific culture in a business - and doesn't create or detract from an 'all business' ethos. You might ask if people who name their company in a certain way have an 'all business' ethos - but that is a different question.

To the question of people's names in a business limiting the business - or initials behind a business driving some success or not - I would say that doesn't matter. The initials or names behind CISCO or JABIL haven't limited their companies. Years ago there was a word processing equipment company famously named NBI - which the story ran stood for 'NoBodies Initials'.

Steven Donnelly
Title: Controller
Company: Giant Impact, LLC
(Controller, Giant Impact, LLC) |

I admire the company for doing that. You even mention that the company is established and reputable so it must be working well for them. I'm sure this kind of thing comes from the top of the organization and he/she probably feels that if the word "love" is too much for someone to handle, then they probably won't want to do business with that particular person. When I see a word that strong in mission statement I immediately think that this company cares a lot about it's people and customers. So, I think it's a good thing.

Achaessa James
Title: Product Manager
Company: National Center for Employee Ownership
(Product Manager, National Center for Employee Ownership) |

Words like Love and Joy and Community express the evolutionary direction of how business is going to be done in the new economy unfolding right now. People are fed up with companies that only want to Optimize profits and, frankly Serve and Connect and Loyal are simply too vague - Serve what/who? Connect in what way? Loyal to what/who? The trend is toward more humanistically centered visions and missions - and this is clearly demonstrated by the B-Corp movement. A B Corporation is a "Benefit" corporation that takes into consideration not just the benefit to shareholders but also the benefit to the community, the environment, and the employees.

Benefit Corporations are required to:
1) Purpose: have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment;
2) Accountability: expand fiduciary duty to require consideration of the interests of workers, community and the environment; and
3) Transparency: publicly report annually on overall social and environmental performance against a comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standard.

There are currently 7 states that have adopted legislation formalizing the B-Corp as a valid form of incorporation, and legislation is pending in 5 more states. For C-Corps that are not in one of those states, there is also an independent B-Corp certification process available. There are currently 517 B Corporations with $2.9 Billion in Revenues in 60 Industries.


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