Value Exchange Principles

Since the Ethos journey began in 1999, we have been experimenting in the Future of Work.

We have an approach which helps people understand what means most to them and the impact their activities has on other people and the planet.  We call that Value Exchange. Here are the key principles of Value Exchange.


  1. Mindfully evaluate the meaning derived from your activities while considering their effects on others and the natural environment.
  2. Capture your reflections frequently and invite your collaborators to reflect on your journey every 1-3 months.
  3. Embrace Working Out Loud (WOL) for more resilient, effective, and efficient work.
  4. Prioritize trust to improve relationships and achieve better outcomes.
  5. Seek collaboration and avoid silos for mutual benefits.
  6. Moderate self-interest, and openly address organizational interests for better outcomes.
  7. Utilize open work platforms to enhance communication and collaboration.
  8. Practice human-centered design (HCD) and asset-based community development (ABCD).
  9. Be kind, and treat others the way you want to be treated.
  10. Respect and prioritize wellbeing for greater productivity.
  11. Actively welcome and seek out diversity in all forms.
  12. Cultivate a no-blame culture, focusing on solutions and learning.
  13. Allow real flexibility in work to accommodate diverse needs.
  14. Encourage constructive challenges for growth, with respect and context.
  15. Work remotely when it makes sense, and address any challenges together.
  16. Have phun (fun) at work to promote resilience and productivity.
  17. Recognize it’s OK to stop and restart as the situation demands.
  18. Live by these values and contribute to their improvement by working out loud.