Being an Authentic Business

10 12 2009

Being an Authentic Business...

Do you know what an Authentic Business is? Have you, like me, found that this is a term increasingly being used in the aftermath of the banking crisis?

I wondered what “Authentic” meant in the context of business and resolved to research it in more detail. I found that there is an increasingly large body of reference work related to Authenticity – and its popularity stems from a return to “real” values and behaviours that people want to see in companies they do business with.

Perhaps the best definition I found was in a book by Neil Crofts, who describes the key principles as: –

  • A purpose beyond profit
  • A purpose that is profoundly held
  • A purpose that is socially and/or environmentally positive
  • Integrity between communication and action
  • Respect for others
  • Sensibility to exploitation of resources and customers
  • A distinct and unique business personality

You can get Neil’s book here:-

Authentic Business – How to create and run your perfect business

You can see Neil talking about Authentic Business in this short video: –

Businesses that operate by these principles seem to be thriving, even through the economic downturn. They are benefiting hugely from growth generated by customers who become fans, keep returning to buy again, and who become brand ambassadors – happy and keen to tell their family, friends and networks about these favourite suppliers. In todays world of word-of-mouth marketing via social media this means that they gain customers without huge marketing expense.

Do you know any of these Authentic Businesses? What do they do that inspires you to keep returning as a customer? How do you tell your family and friends about them? Please let me know by responding to this post so that I can include them in my future research..

many thanks

James Rock




5 responses

11 01 2010
Making work a happier place in 2010 « the big business issue…

[…] a sense of Purpose – one of the key principles of Authenticity (see blog article below : Being an Authentic Business […]

26 01 2010
ken carlson


Thanks for the discussion. Authenticity and all that it entails is a pasion of mine as I named my new business in 2008 Authentic Development and strive to make the name a reality. Check out my blog for notes about my journey:



26 01 2010

Thanks Ken, glad to hear your voice is joining the many… you may find our group website of interest – you can find more resources, search for other consultants, end even join the group….


kind regards


26 01 2010
Ken Carlson


Thanks for the article. I do think there is a tremendous longing for people and businesses to be REAL. The world has changed quite a bit since the days of a “handshake agreement” being ironclad.

I for one, am aiming to help people and businesses get back there.


12 07 2010 | Blog | Masterclass : Business Leadership for the 21st Century

[…] Leaders from different sectors and regions. Their key messages resonate with the key elements of Authenticity discussed in my earlier blog postings on the big business […]

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