Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Oct 03, 2014

After 50 long years, CVS Health quit tobacco products cold-turkey.

After merging with Caremark RX in 2007, CVS has been dedicated to helping consumers live healthier lives. The irony? CVS has been selling tobacco products since its conception 50 years ago.

No more.

Earlier this month, CVS announced they will no longer carry or sell tobacco products and the business implications are huge — $2 Billion in annual sales huge. Yes, that’s billion with a capital B.

But, CVS’s company culture and values are dedicated to helping people live healthy lives. There becomes an issue when you’re willing to sell tobacco alongside life-saving medicines. Sure, losing the revenue may hurt, but it’s a smart move for the company.

Instead of ignoring the elephant in the room, they’re taking action and changing their company to better reflect their mission and values. Aligning their company values to their business model gives them the unique opportunity to realign their stakeholders and live by what their company set out to do. CVS Health has set a completely new precedent in the way similar organizations can approach this smoky situation.

It doesn’t take long to find companies who fail to practice what they preach. Sure, it’s important to make decisions that are best for your organization, but at what moral expense? The most successful companies live by their company values, using them as the very foundation for the actions and decisions they take. It’s the reason we encourage well-crafted mission, vision, and values statements.

Put your money where your mouth is; live by your mission and values. Sometimes, that means making difficult decisions that have huge implications on your organization. Feeling good about your organization’s impact and aligning its culture and values will provide satisfaction no dollar amount can buy.

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