Business as A Force of Good
Business can be a force for good for the planet and healthy for the communities served. When we launch a business, we begin with an idea and a dream of something we want to create. Imagine what’s possible when that idea is tied to healthy business practices like employee ownership, environmental responsibility, leading with trust and building communities.
Once the heartbeat of the organization is in place, structure can be integrated. Too often today, we still lead with structure and lose sight of the dream. And we can choose to change this practice when we focus on how we want to bring an idea to life.
Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder B Corp, believes that “There is a shift going on where an increasing number of large organizations are realizing that to attract the best talent, purpose is important both at the individual and organizational levels. They can no longer rely on a bunch of empty words that hang on the wall as a mission statement.
In today’s world of radical transparency, you need to back those words up with verified transparent performance. That’s why they are increasingly looking to the B Corp movement as a standard for how they measure their impact, how they set up governing structure to manage their impact in the long term, and how they communicate their impact to current and future workers, investors, partners, and, of course, customers.”
Guided by Passion
When we are guided by our passion to create something meaningful in the world, what connects is the vision. We no longer need to talk so much about the culture when we are living the values in how we operate and evolve the organization.
Kim Jordan, Co-founder of New Belgium Beer believes in employee owned businesses: “I recognize that there are people who still operate under the belief that the primary role of business is to make sure that we’re maximizing shareholder return. Profitability is important; it’s the ultimate form of sustainability, because if you can’t pay your bills then you are out of business.
But it’s only one measure. I feel like we spend a big part of our lives at this thing that we call work, and if it can’t feel like people have your back, that they care about you, and that you are in a community of people, to me that seems like squandering a great opportunity.”
Making sure that decisions are streamlined and made is key, and that the systems of the organization allow for solid decision-making. Conscious leaders ensure that people understand what the ramifications of decisions are, what resources are available, and who the interested and affected parties are of every decision. It’s important to have systems and structures that support leadership.
The Way of Doing Business
This way of doing business—the way that’s healthy for the whole person—is the way many organizations are starting to choose. Because when we dedicate such a large portion of our lives to working, we’d rather spend that time and energy in a way that has a positive impact on our lives.
It’s more fun to work with people who aren’t taking themselves too seriously. And it’s possible when leaders offer transparent information, conversations, honesty and vulnerability.
There are so many upsides to a culture when there is a high degree of trust, and people’s ideas get discussed and often, implemented. If knowledge is power, then being trusted is super powerful.