Comment

Climate Changers™

Good for Business has recently launched a new project called Climate Changers.

The purpose of Climate Changers is to create and share an international community of individuals taking on the challenge and opportunity of climate change. The actions of these individuals will inform, inspire and ignite people everywhere to act in ways that not only reverse and reduce the negative impact of climate change, but to actually begin to create a sustainable and just tomorrow for all.

Climate Changers provides an uplifting global/local community that informs, inspires and provides actions individuals are taking to not only reduce and reverse the negative impacts of climate change, but to actually begin to create a sustainable and just tomorrow for all.

Climate Changers shows how people around the world are making a difference through government, business, organizations communities and as global and local citizens.  We provide inclusive, innovative and compassionate examples and solutions you can use or adopt.  From changing government policy, the way we shop and how we get our energy to changing business philosophy and practice, our travel habits and needs and the conversation about climate change to include many more voices.  Climate Changes opens the door to everyone becoming a climate change agent.

Framed around human dignity, Climate Changers empowers people to step forward.  While addressing climate change can be met with apathy, fear, hopelessness, anger and denial, Climate Changers builds on the hope and optimism of collective and individual action and gives a human face to climate.  Climate Changers provides examples of how one person can make a difference - be it small or major - and others can see themselves in that person and what they are doing.  It is critical for the continued advance of the climate change movement that the diverse ways of acting can be be shared with all.   Climate Changers is driven by the belief that every 'we starts with i'. 

Climate Changers has been selected as a project of the Center for Transformative Action (CTA). CTA serves as our non-profit fiscal sponsor which allows us to seek donations and apply for grants. 

We are just beginning the Climate Changers journey and need all the help and support we can get.  We have created a 'pre-site' that explains what the project is and how it will unfold.  You can visit the pre-site athttp://www.iclimatechange.org/#green-1

We invite you donate to Climate Changers.   By support our work now, you will help ensure a better future for everyone.  Your donation is tax deductible.

 

Comment

Happy Kepler 438b Day!

Comment

Happy Kepler 438b Day!

Do you think inhabitants of other planets pick one day a year to celebrate and revere the place they call home?

Kepler 438b is the most earth-like planet discovered to date.  It could be a home for alien life.  Kepler 438b is a bit bigger than Earth and orbits a dwarf star that provides 40% more heat than what our sun provides. Scientists believe Kepler 438b’s size makes it likely to be a rocky place.  The planet’s nearness to its star helps create an environment where the temperature could create is ideal setting for water.  A rocky surface and water flow are two key ingredients for making a place where life can thrive.

Scientists also believe that there are seven more planets that have similar life-welcoming characteristics like Kepler 438b.

Let’s say we pay a visit to Kepler 438b (hey, it’s only 420 light years away).  Do you think you'll see a Kepler 438b Day on their calendar similar to our Earth Day?  On that day, will they be celebrating the wonder and magnificence of Kepler 438b or will the day cause them to come to grips with the fact that they need to do whatever it takes to make an ill planet better?  Will they realize Kepler 438b is experiencing climate change?  Did they just experience the hottest year on record? If they have seas, are the levels rising?  Are their oceans warming?  Is the acidity of ocean water increasing at an alarming rate?  Are the ice sheets shrinking and sea ice declining?  Are glaciers retreating everywhere on the planet?  Are extreme events increasing, events like record high temperatures and intense rainfalls?  Has the population of Kepler 438b increased 185% during the last 40 years while terrestrial wildlife populations have declined 40% and freshwater wildlife has declined almost 80%? Have the CO2 concentrations reached record highs?  Are inhabitants dumping 19.4 billion pounds of plastic in their oceans every year?  Are an estimated 18 million acres of forests lost each year? Are they facing a 40% shortfall in water supply in the next 15 years? Are the climate change-related events going to increase hunger by 20% in the next 35 years?  And is massive income inequality contributing to climate change?

Fortunately, right now, we don’t have a shuttle that will take us Kepler 438b.  Because if we did, we would find ourselves on a planet in desperate need of behavior change by the inhabitants. But, we don’t need to go to Kepler 438b to realize an urgent need to change. You’ve probably already realized the projected situation described on Kepler 438b is the actual situation here on planet Earth.  We thought this would be a good exercise in a change in perspective igniting a change in behavior, beliefs, attitudes and actions.

Chances are, we aren’t the only planet facing the issues we face here on Earth Day.  Perhaps extending our vision beyond us and, yes, beyond our solar system, will trigger the realization that we (you and me) are not the center of the universe.  This realization is one of the first steps we need to take to ensure a healthy Earth every day.   This is a most noble purpose. 

Special thanks to The Guardian, Matt Petronzio/Mashable and Awashpost for data and graphic support.

Comment

Good Things Come in 3's: We Are  Re-certified as B Corp

Comment

Good Things Come in 3's: We Are Re-certified as B Corp

Good for Business, the mothership of MAP, has been re-certified as a B Corporation.  Good for Business was originally certified in 2010.  At that time there were about 150 B Corporations.  Today, there are over 1000!  What makes that number extra impressive is that the certification process has become more and more rigorous and demanding.  We can confess to that since this is our third certification and this re-certification process was more challenging than our second re-certification process which was more challenging than our inaugural certification.

Along with sharing our joy at being re-certified, we thought this is also a great opportunity to remind everyone about what B Corporations are (and to introduce the B Corporation movement to those of you who may not be familiar with it. Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab. To become certified, a company must: 1) Meet the Performance Requirement: Complete the B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points. 2) Meet the Legal Requirement: Adopt the B Corporation Legal Framework to bake the mission of the company into its legal DNA. This allows the company’s values to thrive under new management, new investors, and new ownership. 3) Make it Official:Sign a Term sheet and Declaration of Interdependence to make the certification official.

The B Corp community is made up of over 1,000 companies in 34 countries from 60 industries with 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. To meet the Certified B Corps, visit the B Corp directory.  Here's a link to our listing to help you get started: http://www.bcorporation.net/community/good-business. 

B Corps want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, but for many, becoming a B Corp also has to make business sense. B Corp certification helps companies differentiate from pretenders, generate press, benchmark performance, save money and access services, attract investors, partner with peers, and attract and engage talent. You can learn more at http://www.bcorporation.net

.

 

Comment

Walking with Purpose

Comment

Walking with Purpose

A colleague of mine, Tyler Norris, recently shared "21 good, great and amazing reasons to get walking".  I can't help but share them with you.

1. Walking 20 minutes a day will burn 3.2kg of fat a year;

2. Walking 45 minutes a day halves the odds of catching a cold;

3. ONE minute of walking can extend life by 1.5-2 minutes;

4. Walking 20-25 minutes a week can extend your life by several years;

5. Seniors who walk 9-14 kilometers a week are less likely to suffer from mental decline as they age, including dementia;

6. Walking 30 minutes a day FIVE days a week along with moderate diet changes can halve the risk of Type 2 diabetes;

7. Walking 30 minutes a day, FIVE days a week can halve the risk of heart disease and reduce stress, cholesterol and blood pressure;

8. Walking can reduce pain and improve function mobility mood and quality of life without worsening symptoms;

9. Walking triggers endorphins, promotes relaxation and prevents anxiety and depression;

10. Walking 14 kilometers a week can halve risk of Alzheimer’s disease over FIVE years;

11. Women who walk for ONE hour a day, FIVE days a week and consume 1500 calories a day can lose and keep off 11 kilograms;

12. Walking 30 minutes a day, FOUR times a week can reduce the risk of diabetes by nearly 60%;

13. Prostate cancer patients who walk 90 minutes a week have 50% lower mortality risk;

14. Women who walk regularly are 31% less likely to develop colon cancer than those who exercise less than one hour a week;

15. The economy benefits $8.50 each time a person walks 20 minutes to or from work [1];

16. Strengthens bones , improves balance, increases muscle strength and endurance [2];

17. Children who walk to school have higher overall physical activity throughout the day [3];

18. Encourages social inclusion and community connectedness when walking with a group [4];

19. Walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training [5];

20. Boosts your Vitamin 4 levels [6]; and

21. Contributes to a healthier environment [7].

The resources for these statistics are from Tyler Norris and Every Body Walk! except where footnoted (excuse the pun).

You might also consider putting your best foot forward and joining or starting a Heart Foundation Walking group in your area today.

Comment

Compassionate Partner

Comment

Compassionate Partner

Message And Purpose (MAP) sister organization, Factivist, was recently invited to be a Charter Partner of Charter for Compassion International.  Factivist accepted their invitation.

About the Charter:

On February 28, 2008 acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Karen Armstrong received the Ted Prize and made a wish—to help create, launch, and propagate a Charter for Compassion. After much work and the contribution of thousands of people. the Charter was unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009.

Separately, in the spring of 2008 after the Seeds of Compassion event in Seattle (headlined by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and a host of other leaders) a circle of people were inspired to begin creating the Compassionate Action Network, envisioned as an organizing hub for a global compassion movement. In the spring of 2010, the Compassionate Action Network succeeded in having the City of Seattle sign the Charter for Compassion, and then initiated a "Compassionate Cities" campaign to spread the movement to cities everywhere.

The organization -- Charter for Compassion International -- was inspired by the Charter for Compassion, created by Karen Armstrong and the Council of Conscience in 2009, and inherits a confluence of contributions made by TED.com, the Compassionate Action Network, the Fetzer Institute, and many others. Charter for Compassion International provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Their mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

Aware that our world is deeply troubled and polarized and committed to make the world a better place, they work to establish and sustain cultures of compassion locally and globally through diverse initiatives—education, cities, business, religious and spiritual communities, and the arts. They supply resources, information and communication platforms to help create and support compassionate communities, institutions, and networks of all types that are dedicated to becoming compassionate presences in the world. Through a vibrant Charter for Compassion Partner Network, they welcome and communicate the sharing of information, stories and experiences that touch the work of compassion.

Sign the Charter:

The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter activates the Golden Rule around the world.

The Charter for Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems.

You can sign the charter here: http://charterforcompassion.org/the-charter

 

 

Comment

Photography With A Purpose

Comment

Photography With A Purpose

We thought it makes sense to post here on the MAP blog our recent post from Factivist.  The post focuses on two people who were pivotal in fortifying our steps along the  path of social responsibility and sustainability.  When we launched Good for Business in 1999, we did it at the Dialogue Conference in Vancouver, Canada - a gathering of change agents arranged by this special couple. Our relationship with them also helped ignite the confidence and commitment to  launch of  Message And Purpose (MAP).  And, as you read below, you will see how their work helped to inspire the creation of Factivist

Here is the Factivist post, enjoy:

Recently, a red envelope appeared in our mailbox.  Inside the envelope was  a card with the sentiment 'The best is yet the come', and a check.  This check represented the first response to our request to help fund the work of Factivist. The source of the card and check was no surprise at all. They were from Richard and Shelli Steckel.

The Steckels are two of the inspirations behind Factivist. As i write this, our relationship with the Steckel's is entering its third decade. The moment I met them I knew life would never be the same. 

Richard and Shelli are the founders of The Milestone's Project, created when they decided they couldn't sit by and just watch as people all over the world experienced the mayhem of ethnic cleansing, race riots and hatred. To bridge divides, they sought to chronicle in photographs the humanity shared by all people—a project that led to a traveling exhibit they named "The Milestones Project." It wasn't an easy path. The Steckels took out a second mortgage on their home, borrowed to the limits on their credit cards, learned about photography, and sought friends around the world to help them to make their dream a reality. Then they set out to capture on film moments that are grounded in common human experience—losing the first tooth, making the first friend, going to school for the first time, getting the first haircut. They amassed tens of thousands of photographs, then collected the best ones into a book and an exhibit.

Since its unveiling in 2003, the Milestones Project has mounted exhibits internationally in eleven airports, museums, restaurants, colleges, schools, libraries, government offices, city halls, conferences, at the United Nations, and on the web. Over 200 million people have been exposed to the photos and the message. World leaders have written personal testimonials for the project, which has expanded to include books, puzzles, and a Milestones curriculum to teach cultural sensitivity to people of all ages.

This is the only project of its kind determined to heal the world’s divisions by simply sharing the undeniable pictures of our common humanity. The Milestones Project’s 70,000 plus photographs celebrating childhood around the world all clearly tell the same story and confirm a universal truth: We are all connected. This connection is where true and believable healing begins.

Richard and Shelli are also helping to heal humanity by creating photographs, books and tools that help us understand our connections irregardless of our religion or faith. Their book, Faith: Five Religions and What They Share, is a family-friendly overview of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Young readers learn about different aspects of each religion, including historical origins and beliefs, holy texts, religious clothing and places of worship. They will also find out about the values, customs and symbols all five religions share, such as the golden rule, charity, prayer and candles. Their Wise at Heart initiative is an inspiring journey around the world presented in brilliant photographs and wise words from children and adults including Tom Hanks, Walter Cronkite and Jane Goodall. Wise at heart also speaks to the universal truth that we are all connected. You can learn more about their work at milestonesproject.com.

We could go on and on about the Steckels, because they continue to go on and on finding ways to heal and bring understanding to the world.

It is the empathetic, enthusiastic, compassionate and passionate guideposts of their journey through life that moved me. We had already taken the path I hoped would make 'all the difference'. Richard and Shelli were living proof that this route through life was well worth taking. This is the key fact we want to share in this post and never forget: The Steckels  impacted the creation of Factivist http://www.factivist.info/#about

Thanks Richard and Shelli—for the check and for the priceless inspiration!

Comment

Sailing the Collaborate, Conquer and Compassionate C's

Comment

Sailing the Collaborate, Conquer and Compassionate C's

This post explores the remaining three ‘C’s from our ‘Are You Sailing the Seven C’s’ voyage.

 Collaborate with someone

 When we first started developing purpose-led communication strategies, one of the questions we asked was “what is your competitive climate’.  At the time, we asked this question as a means to get at the obstacles standing in the way of achieving purpose – things like operational issues, lack of resources, the economic climate, psychological factors, perceptions vs. reality, etc.  We also asked about competitors – those organizations or businesses they believed they were competing against or would soon be competing against.  Unfortunately, the answers to this question often led to the desire to create a competitive advantage over others.   We began to feel uncomfortable in facilitating this scenario of winners and losers.  We felt that in a purpose-led environment there is room for all to succeed.  So, we began to not only ask what is the competitive climate, but also what is the ‘collaborative climate’.  Who can you work, ally or partner with to achieve purpose?  What can you associate or connect with to achieve purpose?  How can you help others achieve their purpose? Eventually, we began to focus more on the ‘collaborative advantage’ instead of the ‘competitive advantage’.  Today, we believe that a collaborative advantage is the route to success i.e. achieving purpose.  Having a collaborative advantage works to the betterment of all involved.

Ask yourself – who can you seek out as allies and partners?  What can you bring to the relationship that benefits not only you, but also them?  How can you apply your talent, imagination, and resources in ways that bring value to the people and entities you now regard as colleagues.  You can also bring this spirit of collaboration into your organization and begin to create collegial atmosphere committed to purpose versus a competitive environment where departments and programs are pitted against one another.  Experts will say you can’t force collaboration, and this is probably true in a business-as-usual environment.  I believe in a purpose-led environment, collaboration isn’t forced but occurs out of necessity.  You will arrive at purpose when the collaborative spirit has everyone not only rowing in the same direction, but also knowing why they are rowing in the same direction.

 Conquer fear

Rosa Parks said “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”  I love this quote because it captures the positive power of being purpose-led.  Fear seems to fade away when noble purpose guides our thoughts and actions. On the other hand, fear is empowered when purpose is paper-thin.  With noble purpose driving us, courage thrives and things like anxiety, indecisiveness, stagnation and confusion wither.

This Seven C actually holds the key to successfully navigating the other six C’s.  When you or your organization is fear-based, the ability to truly change, connect, create, challenge, collaborate and be compassionate is compromised.  Fear-based actions produce fear-based outcomes.  You can’t run away, control, suppress or resist fear.  What you can do is understand it.  J Krishnamurti wrote ‘. . .watch it, learn about it, come directly in contact with it.  We are to learn about fear, not how to escape it.” Being purpose-led provides you with an effective route to this kind understanding.

The Roosevelt’s had a good handle on fear. Franklin’s famous remark “The only fear we have to fear is fear itself” is complemented by Eleanor’s charge, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

 Compassionate everyone

Yes, compassionate is a verb!  The Oxford English Dictionary definition is ‘to regard or treat with compassion’.  When you or your organization compassionates, you are showing kindness, caring and a willingness to help others.  Kindness, caring and helping are three key ingredients of a noble purpose. Albert Schweitzer wrote, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”  Schweitzer’s wisdom can also be applied to organization. The purpose of an organization or business is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. When an organization acts or behaves compassionately, new horizons and vistas appear.  The fog of isolation and self-absorption lifts.  You begin to look forward to experiencing what all the world has to share and offer.  By being purpose-led, you are doing what you love to do and love others in the process.  You help create a place where other’s can do what they love to do and love others in the process.  Compassion is contagious.  To quote the Dalai Lama, ‘If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion”.  Imagine what will happen when this wisdom comes to life for your culture, customers, and community.  Compassionate – it’s the ultimate action word for getting to your meaningful destination.

Happy sailing, everyone!

 

 

 

Comment

Sailing the Change and Challenge C's

Comment

Sailing the Change and Challenge C's

Continuing upon the theme ‘Are You Sailing the Seven C’s’, this post follows up the presentation of the first two C’s, Create and Connect, with Change and Challenge.

 Change Something (including yourself)

The poet Maya Angelou wrote ‘If you don't like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  Building upon Maya’s statement, what would you like to change?  Let’s start big with change the world! What can you do to start to change the world? You could begin to change the way you interact with the environment.  You could begin to change the way you interact with the economy. You can change the world of politics by running for office or being a campaign volunteer. You can change your understanding of the world by traveling to places you have never been.  You can change your understanding by taking a course, conducting an experiment, starting up a conversation with a stranger or stepping into a place you would never have dreamed of entering before.  Are you the type of person who is okay with incremental change or are you primed to be part of big, sweeping change? Consider climate change or regime change  - where is your change comfort level pointing? You are probably familiar with Gandhi’s quote ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’. I don't know about you, but it’s a challenge in itself to change myself let alone expect other people, places, policies and politics to change.  My experience tells me that the two are tightly connected.  If you want to see any change outside of yourself, there likely will be an internal calling to change something, be it tiny or huge.  Because of the forces of change we can’t control or alter (the storm on the horizon, the tide, the life and death beneath our boat . . . ) this ‘C’ can be the most challenging to navigate, especially if we aren’t aligned with our purpose or true north - which leads to the next ‘C’.

 Challenge something

Typically, challenge is something we come up against.  Life is full of challenges to be faced. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote “The ultimate measure of a man (woman) is not where he/she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he/she stands at times of challenge and controversy”. I couldn’t agree with this more.  But let’s also look at challenge through the other end of the lens.  Rather than have our lives defined only by how we succeed or fail in dealing with the challenges life throws at us, let’s also define who we are by what we challenge.  Let’s begin with the status quo.  Do you challenge the status quo?  What is your status quo?  Do you challenge conventional thinking?  Do you challenge belief systems?  Are you the type of person who challenges what is perceived to be the truth (the world is flat)?  Are you a challenging personality in the best sense of the word?  Do you relish the challenge of righting a wrong? Kurt Cobain said, “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption”.  Do you feel a duty to challenge something right now?

The waters of challenge and change often flow into one another.  To begin to challenge the way things are, there’s a good chance you will feel the need to challenge yourself. Challenging yourself (or being in the act of change) can be daunting, frightening and to be avoided at all costs. Apathy is a way to avoid challenging yourself.  Distraction or diversion work, too. Apathy and distraction can be especially powerful when you aren’t operating from a point of purpose.  It can be a challenge just getting up in the morning let alone finding the wherewithal to challenge the reasons why you believe in a certain political party or dare to question the theory of relativity. No surprise here, but I believe one anecdote is having a purpose, the kind of purpose that can take on all kinds of challenge and to also challenge.

Our next post will explore other C’s: Collaborate, Conquer and Compassionate. 

 

Comment

Are you sailing the Seven C's?

Comment

Are you sailing the Seven C's?

MAP is all about helping organizations stay aligned with their true north by working with them to develop their key directional coordinates on their compass: Purpose, People, Promise and Principles.  

We also realize that to be an organization driven by noble purpose, there are other sub-coordinates that will impact successful navigation.  No, these aren’t the four traditional ‘p’ words associated with marketing: product, place, price and promotion

 These sub-coordinates run deep, often beneath the surface. Organizations that bring them into clear view and within reach will enhance their ability to move with purpose toward purpose.  These sub-coordinates strengthen the flow and interaction between Purpose, People, Promise and Principles.  We call them the ‘Seven C’s’.  The Seven C’s serve as the activators that propel you toward your noble destination. Create and Connect are two of the Seven C’s. 

Create something

 Find yourself and your organization in the act of creation.  Create a healthy, toxic-free culture.  Create a healthy, toxic-free product.  Create a healthy, toxic-free relationship with your customers and communities.  Open the window wide to innovation and allow active thinking and daydreaming to be breaths of fresh air helping to blow down the walls of ‘take no risks’, ‘more revenue at all costs’ and ‘marginal not meaningful results’.  If your organization is in the doldrums, realize how creating something simple and clear can cast a positive light on what you do and why you are doing it. It may not be billable right now, but stop and dash off a haiku, doodle, donate a few minutes of your mind to mindfulness or do something that stokes the fires of imagination

Connect with someone

Take the stairs to the stockroom and talk with the team loading the pallets and unpacking the supplies.  Call a customer of the blue - make it a customer you have never officially met or spoken with before.  Stop and smell the roses the neighbor is pruning and offer a cup of refreshment.  Out of the blue, call that prospect who has fallen to the bottom of the lead list. Out of the blue, call that someone who has fallen to the bottom of the friend list. Volunteer at a charity you believe in or help others with their volunteering. Like or tweet someone way out of your everyday orbit.  And take a minute to connect with that person who may have suddenly become a stranger - you.

 Our next post will explore two more C’s: Change and Challenge.

Comment

Purpose is an Anti-pollutant

Comment

Purpose is an Anti-pollutant

In the purest sense of meaning, a purpose-led business begins the workday already doing no harm and by the end of the workday that business has actually served as an anti-pollutant.

One place where a purpose-led business performs as an anti-pollutant is by eliminating the toxicity within the walls and the wires. This means the culture of the business is non-toxic. In fact, the culture is a breath of fresh air where respect, gratitude, honesty, justice and compassion guide all human interaction. Business operations and communications are transparent and authentic. Everyone—from the stockroom to the boardroom—finds meaning in the purpose of the organization in ways that help make them even better people outside of work. Beyond the walls, the business communicates with customers, citizens and communities in much the same way it communicates internally—with respect, honesty and understanding. The messages they create aim to inform, inspire and ignite positive thought and action versus fueling the fires of unnecessary consumption, want and materialism. A purpose-led business finds itself to be a listening organization first, rather than being stuck on ratcheting up the sales volume by spewing out corrosive words and airbrushed images upon a communications landscape already too littered with messaging junk.

Another place where a purpose-led business serves as an anti-pollutant is in the products they produce and the services they provide. The products they manufacture and market are constructed from do-no-harm parts and processes. The business relentlessly nurtures and ignites the kind of innovation and creativity that leads to products and services that actually help to ‘clean up’ the places where they are purchased and the places where they are used.  They are recyclable, reusable, compostable, biodegradable, shareable and agreeable in all kinds of ways to the health of the environment and the new economy. The marketplace isn’t polluted with the runoff from pursuing competitive advantage at all costs. The marketplace is flowing with ‘clean’ products—from food and furniture to appliances and apps. Businesses realize and value the collaborative advantage. The supply chain isn’t linked by greed and blind extraction of resources; instead, it is forged with a reverence for resources and a belief in economic justice. Purpose-led businesses cause other business to see the positive effects of relentlessly pursuing a noble purpose. 

The purpose-led business serves as an anti-pollutant by being pro-planet, pro-people and pro-profit (profit being the clean fuel for propelling the business).   

 

 

Comment

The Purpose Economy

Comment

The Purpose Economy

It is not a shocking observation that our current economic model sees profit as the end of the means. It’s also not a revelation to say this model all to often pressures the players to go to any and all means possible to make a profit. 

So . . .

What if we embraced an economic model where profit isn’t the end? What if profit wasn’t a means to an end, but a fuel for achieving a noble purpose? What if this model is built upon products and services created in work environments that are healthy and just, and that the products and services created actually improve the environment and the communities businesses call home? What if we moved from the profit economy to the purpose economy?

The movement to the purpose economy has already begun. As I write this, there are many means at work contributing and collaborating not toward an ‘end’ or bottom-line, but to advancing the health of the planet and those who inhabit it. Elements of this movement were revealed and explored at the recent ‘Demystifying the Purpose Economy’ telesummit.

‘Demystifying the Purpose Economy’ was centered around a dozen conversations with leaders and experts from a range of sectors and disciplines increasingly focused on the positive impact of a purpose economy. 

Ralph Thurm, from the Netherlands and Co-founder of the TriveAbility Consortium, talked about the principles of thrive ability and how it offers an elegantly simple way of ensuring the survival of our species by finding new ways of integrating sustainable breakthroughs into thriving lifestyles, organizations and communities.

Michael Townsend, from the UK and CEO & Founder of Earthshine Solutions & the Sustainable Economy Project, addressed the fact that we don’t have to be constrained by the dysfunctional system of capitalism. Michael shared examples of already implemented and attractive alternatives and how a quiet revolution is now under way.

Wendy Addison, also of the UK and Creator of SpeakOut SpeakUp talked about how the current economic system doesn't empower people to question or challenge anything even though things could be going horribly wrong.  She discussed ‘administrative evil'– in which systems adopt legal-political ideologies that enable any means necessary to achieve the desired end goals of profit, success and ‘better, faster, cheaper’.  Wendy shared insights on how moral courage and ethical capitalism can help save the day.

Aaron Hurst, of the US and founder of the Taproot Foundation and CEO of Imperative, laid out the case that the next evolution of the American economy is emerging, this time based on the creation of purpose. Aaron talked about how this new economy is changing work, organizations and markets to better serve people and the world. He also focused on the power of purpose on the personal and everyday levels of life.

Dr. Wayne Visser of the UK and Transet Chair of GIBS, Director of Kaleidoscope Futures and Founder of CSR International, talked about the mega-trends shaping our world and what futures-thinking tools we will need to be more resilient and successful in the 21st century.  Wayne discussed being ‘fit for the future’ and how products, organizations, communities and countries can survive and thrive 10 and 100 years from now by making the purpose economy safe, smart, shared, sustainable and satisfying.

The telesummit, originating from South Africa, featured several speakers from that country.

Nicola Robins, Co-founder and Director of Incite, talked about purpose being a driver of value, innovation and competitiveness. Nicola discussed how profit is a useful mechanism, but short-term profit at any cost is dysfunctional. She illustrated how when purpose and profit operate together, they create a vortex of change that reshapes the world. Opportunities are created that deliver social innovation at scale as a business proposition. For disruptive innovators, this is nothing new. What’s new is that companies that fail to engage in this space are starting to wonder where they went wrong.

Tracey Webster is Executive Director of the African Leadership Institute. This organization exists to build the capacity and capability of visionary, innovative and strategic leaders access across the African Continent. Desmond Tutu is the patron of the institute and the The Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship is the flagship program of the Institute. Twenty Tutu Fellows representing the brightest and most innovative leaders spanning all sectors and under 40 years of age are selected each year. By the end of this year, 200 fellows will be playing their role in the transformation of Africa. Tracey talked about what the values underpinning a new network of young leaders are and what is the moral compass they are trying to nurture in their actions as leaders.

Deon Robbertze, Founder and Director of Change Agent and Sustain Our Africa and Creator of The Good Report talked about the importance of the digital revolution as a change driver and why it is high time to leverage the digital revolution to accelerate the pace of sustainability innovation, to unleash the network effect and to enable new models of collaboration in order to better enable people outside of companies to engage and collaborate with them. Deon thinks we are only scratching the surface in using big data to make money, save money and be more sustainable.  Deon sees big data as a key to unlocking the ability to understand and act on what are the biggest environmental impacts of their business as well as the ones outside their control.

Cedric Scheepers, Founding CEO of Quainted, talked about human capital growth and innovative ways to weave it into the DNA of a business. He noted that more the $300 billion is annually lost due to disengaged employees, stress and low productivity. The wellness of employees, their productivity, engagement, energy levels, and emotions – all impact profitability and customer satisfaction. Cedric talked about how to solve today’s human capital issues through the use of the latest ideas in enterprise social media, gamification as well as proven, age-old methodologies.

Allon Raiz is Chief Excitement Officer of Raizcorp, Africa’s premier business incubator. Raizcorp is driven by one purpose – grow profitable entrepreneurial businesses. Allon's topic, A Purpose Driven Properator: The Journey, focused on what inspires entrepreneurs and what characteristics make them successful.  He discussed Raizcorp’s rigorous selection process in finding and empowering those with the highest potential to succeed. 

Peter Hayward, CEO and Founder of Hayward’s Grand African Safari, concluded the telesummit. The title of Peter’s conversation was Conscious Leadership Rooted in Ubuntu: Africa’s role in the Renaissance of Business Ethics and Purpose Driven Economics. Ubuntu is the African’s ancient look at what is presented and how it is appreciated so that the social order benefits and therefor the individual survives well into the future in a sustainable way. Peter said that before production, profit, technology and administration comes the subject of ethics and the viewpoint that everything is interconnected and creates the universe we see around us.

 

I also had the honor of being one of the twelve telesummit presenters. My conversation focused on the topic of How to Unearth, Capture and Communicate Your Noble Purpose. I talked about how our MAP process helps provide purpose-led businesses a guide to planning and communicating.  I also provided an overview of the B-Corp movement. Magna Rautenback, founder of Proudly for Purpose, and organizer of the Summit, moderated my conversation as well as the eleven others. 

Presenting twelve distinct voices and viewpoints from around the world, there was a powerful collective spirit at the telesummit. I was humbled by the passion and intelligence of the presenters. I learned much and my belief in purpose being a powerful means of addressing issues and discovering solutions has never been stronger. It’s not a question of what if we moved from the profit economy to the purpose economy. The movement has begun. The question now is what will be the impact for all?

 

.

Comment

The Purpose of Place

Comment

The Purpose of Place

MAP is focused on unearthing, capturing and communicating the core cause or purpose of an organization. Recently, I reflected on a topic I spoke on a few years ago at the International Ecotourism Conference—the idea of not only organizations and people having a purpose, but how a place can have a purpose. This reflection on the purpose of place was prompted by a recent visit to Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is a place steeped in an amazing and often out-of-this world geological and anthropological history and meaning. The combination of light and land is breathtaking. The landscape, whether it is punctuated by the Devil’s Sinkhole or Cathedral Rock, continually creates reverence and respect for the natural wonders of our planet. This reverence, so powerful and compelling, illuminates our search for the answer to the question – why are we here on earth? A place like Sedona can stir a soul, ignite a spirit, shift a state of mind and alter how and where we take our next step. It is a place that fuses body and mind to form, however temporary, a wiser and more heartfelt appreciation for the air we breathe, the dirt we walk on and the water that quenches our thirst. Sedona, like other places on earth, serves the purpose of transforming points of view and revealing an ancient way of seeing that can seem new and revelatory.

So, what happens when we leave a place like Sedona to return to our more ‘normal’ life and state of affairs? I believe that if we allow the purpose of such a place to stay with us, we won’t return to the status quo. Something will have changed. This change may be seen or felt in our interactions with our colleagues at work, or in intimate moments with our partners in life, or in our relationship with the stream, meadow, forest, mountain or skyscraper that landmark where we live. Whatever forms this change takes, it will no doubt be meaningful change. We will think and feel differently. Our connection to others and our planet will be altered. This sense of change can even bolster our drive to make a difference.

But can this kind of ‘location inspiration’ happen without ever going to places like Sedona? 

Do we always need to depart in order to impart meaning? What if where we live, work and play had its own sense of purpose that resulted in us being more compassionate members of our community, more engaged citizens and more committed contributors to our culture?  Is this too much to expect of a place?  Based on my work with MAP and my recent visit to Sedona, I believe more than ever in organizations operating with a noble purpose at their core. To ensure our lives have meaning, our place of work must produce meaning first and foremost. Will our work desk, our station on the production floor or our seat at the conference table have a stunning and inspiring view of Cathedral Rock or the steep, colorful hills of Italy’s Cinque Terra or the lush jungles of Belize? Probably not. But what if the place where we have decided to spend our most productive waking moments is one that awakens our imaginations and our actions for the better? Can our cubicles, conference rooms, corner offices, corporate campuses or constellation of global business offices be connected to a greater purpose? Can the place where we go to ‘make a living’ provide daily ‘Sedona impact’? After seeing a sun-splashed desert skyline move all kinds of visiting hearts and minds, I believe enlightened organizations can move us emotionally and intellectually when they realize their day-in, day-out responsibility to be a place of purpose. 

With a population of a little over 10,000, only .0000013 of the world’s population lives in Sedona. That leaves 7,143,990,000 of us on the planet, many of whom, today and tonight, from Katmandu to Kalamazoo, will hopefully go not just to a place of work, but to a place of purpose. 

 

Comment

MAP is Launched!

Comment

MAP is Launched!

Propelled by a long held belief that organizations and businesses aren’t just brands to be built, but causes to be believed in, Message And Purpose (MAP) has lift-off. Our destination is a world where leaders are always guided by a noble purpose; where employees and owners can’t wait to get up in the morning and bring that purpose to life; where communities thrive because that purpose brings real benefit to everyone and everything that lives, works and plays there; and, a world where the lands, waters and skies are healthier today than they were yesterday.

We at MAP are humble enough to realize we won't create such a world on our own. Fortunately, we aren’t alone in the journey to such a place. We know there are CEO’s, social entrepreneurs, change agents, committed citizens, nonprofits and entire business cultures venturing forward on the path of noble purpose. We know our numbers are growing. You can see it in the explosion of the B-Corp. community. You can track it in growing presence of sustainability in business planning and operations. You can measure it in the expanding numbers of students hungry for socially responsible curricula and schools stepping up and feeding that hunger. And, you can simply feel it in your gut, the gnawing realization that our reason for being goes beyond generating a profit—that in fact, profit is a fuel for achieving meaningful purpose. 

Yet, along with that undeniable feeling, we at MAP acknowledge the data and research making the case for being a purpose-led organization. The most recent Kelly Global Workforce Index reports that two thirds of workers intend to look for a job with another organization. Less than half feel they have real job fulfillment or have a genuine sense of purpose and meaning. Only half say they are happy in their jobs. Just 44% say they feel valued by their employer. And Gallup recently reported that only 36% of workers feel ‘engaged’. There is even data pointing out that a high percentage of CEOs and managers don't like what they do. We think purpose, or lack of purpose, is a key the reason why—with the emphasis on ‘why’. It’s vitally important to know why you do what you do versus simply doing what you do. We’ll talk about the ‘Why Axis’ in upcoming blogs and even share a chapter entitled ‘How to Why’ from a book we wrote in 2006.  But for now . . .

We at MAP view these numbers as a reason for change, but we also see them revealing a glass half full versus half empty. The U.S. based data and research from Cone Roper validates our optimism. To quote:  “America’s appetite for corporate involvement in social and environmental issues is voracious. Just 7% of the U.S. population believes corporations only need to be concerned with their bottom line. More than nine-in-ten look to companies to support social or environmental issues in some capacity, and 88% are eager to hear from companies about those efforts. A whopping 91% want to see more products, services and retailers support worthy causes—up 8% since 2010.”

But what if the worthy cause was the business itself? What if the purpose of an organization resulted in social and environmental change and benefit?  What if the business itself was respected as an asset to our environmental and social fabric without having to rely on associating with cause outside of itself in order to garner such respect?  The answers to these questions drive MAP. We are here to help businesses and organizations realize their noble purpose and provide them with the compass for staying on course. With MAP in hand, your organization will not only envision a better world, but have the directions to actually arrive there.

So, with this initial post, Message And Purpose is launched. Join us on the journey!

 

Comment