I can't really get away from this reality:
Doing Good is Good Business.
Maybe you like Doing Good is good 4 business.
Or maybe you prefer, Do Good; Well.
However we decide to say it I must confess this is my sweet spot. I have admired Blake Mycoskie from afar for awhile and followed, even blogged about Toms Shoes over at my P-I reader blog so it's no surprise that I'm featuring him again today as I muse about doing good…and good business.
Doing good; businesses that do good; social venturist are those who have jumped in to the intersection of charity and commerce. Individuals like Blake Mycoskie at Toms Shoes, John Sage at Pura Vida Coffee, Priya Haji at World of Good, Paul Shoemaker at Seattle Social Venture Partners, Jeff Rogersat One Accord and Doing Good, Todd Tarbert at Affinity Financing …the list goes on and on.
Am I talking about non-profits?
Sorry; please do not refer to anything of value; human or otherwise as NON anything, around me.
You won't find me referring to any venture as non-profit. I just have never understood this word and so early on I disregarded it. I've always refereed to what others historically have called NP's as social profits, social ventures. Life is interesting enough, growing and orchestrating change challenging enough why not create words that communicate one's true value, and inspire?
As far as I'm concerned anyone involved in creating social capital and social return, advancing the common good, changing the world is the bomb, a mini savior, hero even; definitely not NON anything.
Just this past month I've had fascinating conversations; with John Burgess from Incite Partners about Charity Water, Paul Shoemaker about how Seattle Social Venture Partners are engaging and connecting philanthropist for social change, Todd Tarbert of Affinity financing about the future of financing and capitalizing social ventures with the new legal structures, Jim Shapiro from Edge and Jeff Rogers who has not only founded international social work but is one of the founding partners of One Accord. As I've continued to press into this intersection of charity and commerce I am reminded of the reason I launched a social venture years ago and the lessons I learned in that venture; doing good demands good; even great. You see no matter what the desired outcome the one thing we all need is the team to achieve our mission and vision. In regards to doing good…its more imporant than ever to join hands and to encourage others to step into this transformational intersection where charity meets commerce, where doing good is good business and where we have a shot at changing the world…one life at at ime
So here are a few reasons I'm convinced that Doing Good is Good Business…
Meaning and Purpose:
Meaning and purpose have always mattered but now with the majority of the population in the second half of their lives individuals are asking themselves what really matters; many are longing to work with or for a company that is doing meaningful work and are willing to trade in higher salaries for higher social return. And Increasingly consumers want to spend their money on things that matter, have a purpose beyond just mere consumption. Clients love consuming things that propel good and employees are hungry for work that matters…Design meaning and purpose into every venture you're involved with it is just good business…
With the ease of travel and the technology advancements of web 2.0, social media, mobile and mapping we are able to experience the needs of others in ways never before, imaginable. Now its not only blank words on a page tellling us about the conditions of 4 billion people; its pictures, videos and interviews; delivered in real time in a format you and I can engage with and get involved with. Knowing is happening at a deep level and with it understanding and awareness which lead to empathy. Empathatic leaders are changing the world one solution focued venture at a time!
At it's heart business is about solutions. Doing good is about solving social problems. Doing good well is about using the very best business practices to do good- well! SO what if this is the trend and soon there won't be any for profit or non profits; only ventures with differing levels of social return and employees, stakeholders and clients will all get to choose how to invest thier valuable resources of time, talent and money; high social impact and return or lower….hmmm
911, Enron, IMG, war, national financial crisis, Derivatives, Madoff; and that's just here on American soil. Just think about all the reasons skeptism is on the rise. More than ever individuals are starved for authentic, transparent organizations and businesses they can trust, work for and spend their money with. Offers that are simple and transparent leverage trust. Toms Shoes makes getting involved, giving, doing good; simple as well as transparent. It's One for One. Buy one pair of shoes from Toms and they give one pair away. Videos that witness the Toms Shoes, shoe drops. In the videos we see their simple promise in action, transparently the company tells its story, building trust and galvanizing a tribe of loyal followers; clients; tommites.
1.6 billion people are on line. Over 300,000 on Facebook. On line is culture, community has transcended mere geography. ALliances and partnerships, collaborative efforts are occurring in record time as affinity groups align world wide. Good Business, giving back is attracting individuals hungry for change they can believe in and participate in. "Good" Tribes are growing…and a global "Doing good… is good for business tribe is growing.
Alliances and changing laws
Because not every business will embrace social ventures as 100% of their missional objectives, social ventures; good business have the opportunity of partnering with major brands and companies to finance growth and allow some of the 'good vibe' to rub off on their partners. New low profit corporation structures ( L3C's) will offer entirely new ways and means of financing social ventures as we move into a time in history where the lines between traditional NP's and FP's become blurred and the world embraces the fact that doing good …is just good business.
What does this mean for you
For me it means - I'm taking all my years of commerce and business smack into this intersection….
if I can't do good…I don't want to do it.
Doing Good: Is Good Business