I loved Saturday mornings when I was a kid. My sister and I were devoted to Schoolhouse Rock (Interjection!) and The Superfriends. In general, I never considered my self a superhero fan, but there was something about the Superfriends. Mostly, I was in awe of the transformational powers of the Wonder Twins. “Wonder Twin powers, activate! Form of…” Watching them use their powers to do or be something different was mesmerizing. I didn’t realize it then, but what I have come to realize is that they were actually quite deep. They acted with purpose. They stated their intentions aloud (“Activate, form of….”). They committed to it.
So, in Wonder Twin fashion…. “Business, activate! Form of….good citizen.” I like it. Now, how to make that happen. Obviously, it must start by doing good work. Whatever it is you do, do it well. Make your customers, patrons, or clients deliriously happy. Deliver a positive return on their investment. Make their lives and their businesses better. Is that enough? Can business also be a force for good? Some will say that if the purpose of a business is to make money, that spending more to be force for good to the planet and community doesn’t make financial sense. But here’s the thing. It does. Studies show that companies that take care of all their stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, the community, and the planet) actually do a better job of delivering returns to their shareholders than those that just focus on the bottom line. If you are interested in learning more, check out the book Firms of Endearment.
Here is my challenge to all of you this holiday season: are their ways your business can use its powers for good? What are the 2-3 things you can do in 2011 to build your business while being a better corporate citizen. I would love to hear your thoughts! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on FB or tweet it out to the universe. Just put it out there.
Since I am asking this of you, I should tell you how I am continuing to activate Compass(x) Strategy as a force for good. In the past year, I have taken actions to move my website to a server run on wind energy. I have donated countless hours of pro-bono work to worthy causes and awesome start-ups. And, I am pleased to announce that beginning next month, I will be donating 2% of every project’s consulting fees to charity. Where the money goes is up to you, my 2011 clients. You choose. To learn more about how this works, check it out on my website where we discuss our Mission and Guiding Principles.
Jayna, Zan (and their Space Monkey Gleek) should be proud.