Why do some entrepreneurs manage to defy social gravity and thrive, while most go down in flames? How is it possible to attract a truly passionate following through social media? Why is the marketing mindset that worked in years past falling flat today? What’s the best way to find security in a flat, upside-down, digitally connected world where cultural and economic boundaries are collapsing like cut-rate lawn chairs?These questions are impossible to answer in any satisfying way without first challenging many conventional beliefs about the nature of human communication.
Last month, a front-page New York Times story reported that global business leaders Coca-Cola, Nike, and others are factoring in climate change risks as threats to the bottom line. This news followed CDP’s December reveal that 29 major companies use a shadow carbon price in their finances for climate risk evaluation.What do these stories have in common? Risk.
Finding the right media partners for your advertising dollars is a critical part of any brand’s market success. It’s a competitive landscape with new and traditional advertising mediums vying for consumer attention as well as your coveted marketing dollars. And for any brand that is a leader in sustainability, partnering with media outlets that complement your values and sustainability positioning is important.
The B Team announced today that Blake Mycoskie — entrepreneur, author, and founder/CEO of TOMS Shoes — is the latest recruit to join its ranks. Mycoskie becomes the youngest member of The B Team and will lend his unique, entrepreneurial perspective on the future of business to the team and its work.
Almost 100 percent of companies have a corporate citizenship budget today, up from just 81 percent in 2010, according to a new report from the Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.The Profile of the Practice 2013 explores how the environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of business — corporate citizenship — are managed in today’s business world, and how these practices have evolved since the last report in 2010. It is based on a survey of 231 companies that provided data on their corporate citizenship strategies, operational structures and business practices.
The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), announced this week that by 2019, consumers will be able to purchase any Sonoma County wine confident that it was grown and made in the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable county.Sonoma County has committed to becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region through a three-phased program to be completed within the next five years, according to the SCW. Although many of the region’s multigenerational growers and winemakers have been practicing sustainable farming techniques and winemaking practices for decades, this initiative demonstrates their seriousness and commitment to ensuring all vineyards and wineries across Sonoma County will soon be sustainable.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
When I was seven, I was given an Apple Macintosh in the hope that Mavis Beacon would teach me how to touch type. It was an unreasonable expectation, for I was actually more interested in escaping to the fantasy lands of Dungeons and Dragons and Lode Runner. Yet, these games had a lasting, unexpected impact on my thirst for learning. In playing Dungeons and Dragons, I remember being particularly excited each time my archetypal characters would gain ‘experience points’ that enabled them to upgrade their abilities.
Mention to a sustainability person that their career trajectory should be hurtling them towards some form of divine obsolescence and the reactions are, suffice to say, mixed.The idea of them passing through some blissful reinvention to rise phoenix-like, only stronger and wiser, in some new primary function at the heart of the business doesn’t always ring everyone’s career bell.The fact that they should wish to render their current position and the status they derive from it obsolete — a planned professional obsolescence — seems confusing to some, demeaning to others and otherwise simply, quietly terrifying to those who have been on the 'S' mission for so long.
Somehow it’s already year-end, a time to look back and try to make sense of what’s happened. Creating any “top” list of stories from 12 months is nearly impossible. But as I’ve done for the last 4 years, I’ll attempt to summarize some of the latest stories about the big environmental and social pressures on business, and how some innovative companies are dealing with them.
This post is part of a series written by MBA and MPA candidates in Presidio Graduate School’s Managerial Marketing course, examining the role of marketing in advancing sustainability across all sectors.
Seventy percent, or nearly 350 of the Fortune 500 companies do not have a Hispanic member on their board, according to a new study by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).The organization’s 2013 Corporate Governance Study (CGS) measures Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite and boardrooms in Fortune 500 companies, revealing that there has been little progress for Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards over the last 20 years.Some other key findings include:· Latinas only hold 37 out of 5,511 board seats in the Fortune 500
Twenty-nine of the world’s leading CEOs and companies in 2013 joined CECP, a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance, founded in 1999 by actor Paul Newman.These CEOs and companies work with CECP to elevate their societal investment strategies and connect them to their core business, as they are a direct line to employee engagement, innovation, customers, new markets, stronger brands and sustainability, as well as mitigating risk and building trust. CECP convenes and supports CEOs, whose companies committed $14 billion last year to solving pressing community challenges.In 2013, CECP welcomed the following 10 CEOs into its ranks:· Sheri McCoy, Avon Products, Inc.
As 2013 comes rapidly to a close, it is worth noting, I think, that this was arguably the three hundredth anniversary of sustainability management, the formal discipline, as we know it. Indeed, the concept of sustainability management in commerce first appeared in 1713 in a book written by Hans Carl von Carlowitz (Sylvicultura Oeconomica, 1713), a Saxon tax accountant and mining administrator who more or less invented the practice of sustainable forestry.
General Motors last week announced that Mary Barra will replace Dan Akerson as CEO on January 15, 2014 — making her the first woman to lead a major automaker. Barra currently serves an executive vice president in the company’s global product development unit.With more than 30 years' experience at GM, Barra rose through a series of manufacturing, engineering and senior staff positions, the company says. Notably, Barra helped to facilitate GM’s turnaround after its 2009 bankruptcy and reorganization.“With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra in a GM news release. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”
“Focus” is having a great run these days. Daniel Goleman’s book on it is excellent. People with focus are able to capture more information, complete tasks sooner, become skilled in a discipline earlier. Malcolm Gladwell has written eloquently about the need to spend 10,000 hours in order to truly master a subject. There’s a lot to be said for single-mindedness.
A few years ago, my ad agency was acquired by Maddock Douglas, an innovation agency based in Chicago. For a year, I worked with the team at MD, honing a green innovation process for their clients.I learned a number of incredibly useful things from my friends at MD, but one has served me particularly well in the business of building futureproof brands: the power of a global expert network.A global expert network is, as the name implies, a network of smart, specialized idea people you can call upon to guide your thinking. In my case, they’re C-suite level, generally entrepreneurial, with strong brand experience.
Five major organizations active in the social investment market — the Big Lottery Fund, Citi, Big Society Capital, the City of London Corporation and the Cabinet Office — have come together to launch the Social Investment Research Council (SIRC), which aims to “generate powerful and practical insights for the benefit of social sector organizations and investors.”The research body will seek to maximize the benefits for socially motivated investors by enhancing knowledge within the sector, the founders say. During the organization’s first year of operation, it will focus on better understanding the investment products currently on the market and the kind of investors they seek to attract.
Walmart now has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation or development around the world and generates 89 megawatts (MW) of solar across 215 locations, according to a report last week by the Solar Energy Industries Association. This is enough to power 22,250 U.S. homes and is more than is produced in 38 U.S. states. Earlier in 2013, Walmart partnered with SolarCity to install solar on another 60 stores in California, part if the company’s goal to have solar power on 75 percent of its stores in the state. The company also is testing other projects, such as micro wind, large-scale wind farms, solar water heating and solar thermal to maximize the renewable energy potential of each location.
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
A factor critical to the development of any mission-driven brand is the nature of the ecosystem to which it belongs. A community that holistically embraces the philosophies of sustainable development offers ideal grounds for development of the business ideologies, spirit and camaraderie vital for propagation of any sustainable brand.The metropolitan Chicago area, also known as Chicagoland, is proving to be one such community in the U.S. Driven towards creating a sustainable economy and region, these considerations are taking center stage in the region’s regulatory, business and community development policies and strategies.
On October 5, the One Young World conference, which convenes young people around the world to create positive change, gathered several leaders in the sustainability world to discuss the future of the integration of the environment and the economy. Known as “The B Team,” members Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; PUMA chairman Jochen Zeitz; Arianna Huffington, president of The Huffington Post Media Group Paul Polman; Prof.