Home » Business Resources » Business Values » Family Values and Business Values Should Align

Family Values and Business Values Should Align


In their 1995 book, The Nordstrom Way: Inside America’s No. 1 Consumer Service Company, Robert Spector and Patrick McCarthy state that Nordstrom employees go beyond the call of duty to service customers every day. However, what you may not know is that the business value is also part of the Nordstrom’s family values. Co-Chairman Bruce Nordstrom says,

“If that confidence in the individual is repeated over and over and over again, it creates power. Nordstrom’s supreme advantage over its competition is that it has been and will continue to be  controlled and operated by the Nordstrom family. Family control brings an institutional memory, a consistent message and stability for long term planning.”

Craig Aronoff, Ph.D and John Ward, Ph.D state in Family Business Values: How to Assure a Legacy of Continuity and Success, “values tend to endure over time. When shared among owners, decision makers, and employees in business, they have great power in shaping the business’s performance and results.” Some of the advantages to the business, as described by Craig and John, of aligning business values with family values are:

1. Laying the bedrock for corporate culture – corporate culture is the build up of beliefs and values that drive the business and the day-to-day assumptions and behaviours that reflect those values.
2. Providing a template for decision-making – business decision makers view all questions through a framework of values, whether consciously or not.
3. Inspiring top performance – values are powerful motivators of people. Bottom line objectives typically fall short in building a vision for the future.
4. Supporting a patient, long term view – a vision longer than quarterly profits can strengthen the owners’ resolve as the markets fluctuate.
5. Reducing the cost of capital – shareholders that are willing to stick together are more likely to support appropriate risk taking, to sacrifice short term liquidity for long term business goals, and to refrain from withdrawing capital from the business for personal needs.
6. Improving strategic planning – Core values can help business leaders avoid being bogged down in past successes and lift their eyes to the horizon for strategic decision making.
7. Lending meaning to work – shared values, particularly when they focus on people-centered principles such as respect or education and development, afford employees a sense of purpose that keeps them on track in even the most mundane jobs.

Our mission is to make a difference by helping family businesses avoid the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves statistics. By using a proprietary values based process, families can now nourish, grow, and pass on their true wealth with a higher degree of certainty on their journey from success to significance.

We take the idea of a Family Office one step further by providing holistic benefits such as: health and parenting resources, values and legacy tools from leading global experts, fun family activities, online collaboration, secure backup services for important documents and precious memories, and a comprehensive Financial and Business Toolkit.

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