Before I introduce my interview with Maria Rodriguez on this episode, I share my thoughts on the concept of Massive Transformative Purpose from the book Exponential Organizations.
BYOEARTH is vermicomposting startup in Guatemala, founded by Maria Rodriguez.
social venture empowering women to create income, increase crop yields and build quality of life. Their purpose: to promote vermicomposting as a sustainable livelihood in vulnerable populations.
Maria also shared with us a concept that I love: “trabajo bien hecho” or “well done work”
In this episode of the Purpose Podcast I share a couple of stories about how my expectations influence my experience in hopes that you will see something for yourself and your entrepreneurial experience.
I then interview Karen Wolfgang, Owner and Manager of Portland, Oregon’s Independence Gardens. A Portland native, Karen earned a BA in Anthropology and Environmental studies from Princeton and an MA in Educational Leadership from Portland State. Independence Gardens helps people create better relationships with their natural and built environments.
This episode’s interview is likely to be one that we look back on and see I’ve referred to it often. Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor has a unique way of growing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Ari Weinzweig, co-founder, tells us about how they started 32 years ago with Zingerman’s Deli. The idea was that it would be unique, have food and service and be a great place to work. Unique means not copied from something else in New York, Chicago or Detroit and also that there would be only one. They’ve now grown to 9 Zingerman’s businesses (deli, roadhouse, creamery, coffee, training, etc.), 625 staff and about $50 million in sales this year.
The training company came from their core competencies (my word, not his) in customer service and vision-creation. They’re part-way through their 2nd 15-year vision and have a methodology that works for them that they love to share with others.
When I asked Ari about purpose, I was surprised that he wasn’t super clear. He referred to the Zingerman’s Experience from their mission, and then ultimately settled on the idea of leaving everybody better for the interaction with us than they were before they entered.
We share the Zingerman’s Experience
Selling food that makes you happy
Giving service that makes you smile
In passionate pursuit of our mission
Showing love and care in all our actions
To enrich as many lives as we possibly can.
Just as I would never advise anyone to have 10 core values, though that many works for Zappos, I would never advise anyone to have such a long mission, though it clearly works for Zingerman’s. If they weren’t so successful with that they have, I’d recommend they simplify to something like To enrich as many lives as we possibly can. Perhaps such a simplification would help their people be even more clear than they already are?
Buy the Change uses Trade for Better Lives for Women in the Developing World. Co-founder Kari Hughes invited me into the world headquarters (her home) for this interview about why they are, how they got started and why they do what they do. Buy The Change is a Certified Benefit Company (B Corp) (as is TedSarvata.com) committed to being part of the solution to the issues faced by women and girls around the world.
She mentioned a couple of books that were instrumental in her development: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn and Global Girlfriends: How One Mom Made It Her Business to Help Women in Poverty Worldwide by Stacey Edgar.
They measure impact by how many dollars are we able to put into the hands of women in the developing world. We talked about the potential conflict between purpose and impact, the pendulum, as it were, that swings between focusing on short term benefits to their suppliers, women in the developing world, and more focus on the long term impacts, or more short-term focus on developing markets for these products. After the interview I reflected on the Duncan Berry (Fishpeople) interview on episode 30: https://purposepodcast.com/030. Perhaps that episode will be helpful for Buy the Change. What do you think?
Metropolitan Group’s purpose is “to build a just and sustainable world”. Laura Dellinger, President and Principal tells us about this Portland-based Strategic Communications agency that recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as a social-change agency.
Laura has deep expertise in the use of community engagement to mobilize stakeholders in community-based solutions to social and civic issues, is board chair at Trillium Family Services among many other current and past nonprofit board positions and recently was honored by the Portland Business Journal as Executive of the Year at their Women of Influence Executive awards.
The Power of Voice
Voice is a critical catalyst for social change.
Who has the power of voice and who does not often determines:
Who has access to decent housing, fair wages, safe food, clean water, and quality health care
Who is safe, and who feels safe and able to express their views
Who has the resources to advocate for their beliefs and rights
Who has their perspective accurately portrayed in mainstream media
Who votes, who influences and makes policy
Who has the ability to make change within organizations and communities
If you want to change the world, what should you do? On one level it’s simple, really. Get clear on your purpose and then take action. That action, driven by purpose, is what creates impact: Purpose Drives Impact. This is simple cause and effect, really. Clear purpose leads to impact. Purpose without action is simply dreaming (You can prove this to yourself by pulling out an atlas – remember those? – or Google Earth and look up a place you’ve always wanted to visit. See? You’re dreaming), while action without purpose is running in circles (To prove this, turn on your GPS without a destination and go for a bike ride. See where it takes you. No helpful voice in your earbuds.). read more