How a Values-Aligned Mission is Good for Business

September 21 2023

Growing up in a small town on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana, I was lucky to be surrounded by a strong community, including the consolidated Salish and Kootenai Native American Tribes. The Tribes’ goal was for their community to succeed by leading with their values. Over the years, the tribal organizations worked to both retain their culture and adapt to the realities of everything that came with non-native cultures. Fundamentally being values-aligned enabled the tribes to develop resources and infrastructure benefitting their community including: social services networks, healthcare, education, their own primary school system and an accredited community college system.

My parents supported tribal growth and success. My dad ran a small-town bank where he ran a values-aligned company and served the entire community, including the tribes. 

I learned firsthand that being a values-aligned organization creates the greatest opportunities for a community’s success and shared my insights on this week’s episode of PRGNPresents.

What is a values-aligned organization?

My definition of a values-aligned organization is simple, it is an organization that has a clear mission statement centered on benefiting people now and in the future. Values-aligned is more than outcomes. It is the strategy of the organization, the policies (both internal and external) and the execution.

What can go wrong by not being values-aligned?

It’s not hard to find recent examples of how ignoring values in business can lead to collapsing communities. During Silicon Valley’s dot-com boom 25 years ago, thousands of start-ups built businesses with the intent of hitting revenue targets, selling and cashing in.  That’s not values-aligned. They didn’t have a long-term vision. Without a foundation of being values-aligned, it all fell apart: “dot-bomb.”

Finding successful clients and employees

Being values-aligned helps find and nurture successful relationships with both clients and employees. As PR professionals, we guide our clients to support their mission through storytelling. We know we have a good client/agency fit when a prospect has demonstrated and expresses their goals in terms of helping people and benefiting the community.

Parallel to that, smart and engaged employees want to work for organizations they believe in.

That’s evidenced in many ways – everything from work-life balance to program execution. When values of employees and their employer are aligned, the work produced is superior, and the work culture is supportive of employees and clients.

Being values-aligned is good business and good for business

Being values-aligned isn’t ever a perfect state, it is an evolutionary process that requires constant effort. Those efforts are recognized and that help differentiate your brand. It’s an iterative process – and when things don’t quite go the way you would like it to, and you learn from that and apply that learning to doing things differently and improving, you’re growing your business in more ways than one.

If you enjoyed this episode, please follow the PRGN Presents podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or any other podcast app. We publish new episodes every other Thursday. To have them delivered automatically and free of charge, just choose your preferred podcast player from this list, open the app, and click the button to “Follow” or “Subscribe” to the show:

Sean Dowdall
President, Landis Communications Inc. (LCI)
Sean Dowdall is a 28-year financial services marketing, sales, and public relations executive specializing in the innovation, creation, and successful delivery to market of strategic initiatives, ongoing capabilities, and fully-integrated campaigns. He provides strategic counsel to LCI clients, oversees the marketing and digital practice areas, and supervises financial management for the agency. The son of a banker, he started his banking career at his father’s local bank on the Flathead Indian Reservation in his hometown of Polson, Montana. Mr. Dowdall most recently was Chief Marketing Officer for Rabobank, N.A., the American retail bank affiliate of the Dutch financial services giant, the Rabobank Group. During his 4 year tenure, the bank doubled in size through three acquisitions and double-digit organic growth of its deposit and business lending portfolios, it received the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in California” from J.D. Power and Associates for three years in a row and became known as a leader in agriculture financing and community involvement. At Rabobank, he built and expanded the digital channel management, marketing, public relations, and product development teams. He was a key spokesperson for the bank and developed a leading public relations capability focusing on the agriculture industry and hyper-local branding. Prior to Rabobank, Sean headed a variety of marketing, sales, public relations, and digital/Internet functions at Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America covering consumer, wealth, and small business segments. He has led successful public relations campaigns to launch the brand and new products. Also, Sean led strategic media partnerships with Meredith Publishing, Sunset Magazine, and Yahoo. He graduated from Santa Clara University (BS in Finance) and the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). He also studied in Tokyo, Japan during his junior year of college. He served as President of the Board of ODC San Francisco for 5 years during 2 $10 million capital campaigns to expand the ODC campus supporting more than 200 dance classes every week and an active 200-seat performing arts theatre.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.