After almost two years at Prophet, I am reconnecting with my entrepreneurial spirit to start up a new social-good consulting firm called Fruitful. The focus is on aligning business strategy with social good to achieve triple-bottom-line results. I'm really excited about it... I've been wanting to use my skills to help make the world a better place and I think this will be a great vehicle through which to do so.
I'm a "glass is half full" kind of person, and I believe this is the perfect time to start a business like this. Here's why:
- Change equals opportunity. We're seeing a convergence of market forces that indicate that the era of “business as usual” is coming to an end (more on this in my next post.) Game-changing opportunities are being created for businesses to be powerful and profitable catalysts for good. Yet the recession is causing wide-spread, knee-jerk reactions to cut or eliminate spending. Businesses will either be seen as a leader or a me-too in their respective categories when times improve.
- Perception is reality. There’s a lot of skepticism towards companies jumping on the social-good bandwagon. Accusations of greenwashing abound. Socially good business is not about PR programs or legal checklists. The only way to succeed is by embedding social good initiatives throughout your entire organization in a way that supports and extends your brand and business strategy. It’s about walking your talk.
- There's a smart way to prune. Many larger businesses have numerous philanthropic efforts that don’t align with their brands or support their business strategies. This is a good time to eliminate scattershot programs in favor of a strategic, focused approach that can effect greater change and drive future growth. And hey, maybe even be profitable.
I'll be writing a lot more about socially good business here on this blog until I get my new website (with an integrated blog) up and running. So stay tuned...