Before today’s interview I talk about Blueprint of We, a collaborative framework and document that I’m looking forward to trying. The idea if agreeing together how we’ll handle conflict, before we’re in the middle of a conflict, is very compelling.
Duncan Berry, CEO and Co-Founder of Fishpeople shared with us about his love for fish, Oregon coastal communities, and making an impact. He described their purpose (paraphrased) as being a company that successfully balances our bottom line with heath and growth of the communities on which we depend and long-term, smart use of our natural capital.
His parting advice to entrepreneurs is to make sure that solving a problem for your customers is intimately linked with you accomplishing your purpose. De-link them and you’ll be less successful. Link them and you’ll have a powerful engine for change.
Fish People Shared Purpose Statement
NOURISH our customers with delicious & healthy food from the sea.
RESPECT our fellow supply chain members & pay them well.
When you think of an urban core, what do you think of? Traffic? Congestion? Noise? With Franklin Jones’ vision for B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, it doesn’t have to be that way. (See also my earlier episode featuring Rob Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.) B-Line uses these amazing human-powered (electric assist) tricycles to make the “last-mile delivery” for their customers such as Portland Roasting Coffee, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Office Depot. Instead of these companies needing to use huge gas-guzzling trucks that end up empty (and thus just taking up space) most of the time, these companies drop shop to B-Line’s warehouse where their goods are re-packed into these vehicles:
Benefits to this model:
Less congestion because the vehicles are smaller and can often use bike infrastructure instead of car/truck infrastructure.
Less pollution because these are emissions vehicles. They also use far less energy than an electric-powered truck would.
Stronger community because these riders are interacting with the public. You can talk to them as they do their work (if you’re walking or on a bike).
Lower delivery costs because now smaller deliveries can be make economically.
In addition, they also pick up food that would normally go to waste from Whole Foods (using unused tricycle capacity that would normally go to waste on the way back to the warehouse) and deliver it to organizations serving hungry people.
This last week I read an amazing article that speaks directly to being who you are. My wife and I choose the name Sarvata when we married because it means wholeness or integrity. That’s what this podcast is all about. It’s about asking yourself who you are and then it’s organizing your life so you can be that.
This article starts by asking a trivial question: how did Toast become the latest artisinal food craze in San Francisco?
Turns out the roots can be traced to the Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club owned by Giulietta Carrelli. Listen to my take on that story and then go read the original article. Amazing.
Rob Jordan: Betterment of Others & Betterment of Ourselves
Rob Jordan, founder and CEO of Idealist Consulting, told us about his purpose, the betterment of others and betterment of ourselves. I invited him on the show because he was one of the first 50 Certified B Corps in the world. This certification recognizes Idealist Consulting’s commitment to the triple bottom line (people, planet and profits).
Idealist Consulting serves non-profits to help them improve efficiency around fundraising, outreach, etc. Cloud services provides like Salesforce.com gift the software (with the accompanying tax write-off) and the non-profit pays Idealist Consulting to get everything set up and customized for them. Win, win, win.
After the interview I talked a bit about the work that I do, helping entrepreneurs and executive teams decide on their purpose, who they’re serving and what they’re selling, all important pieces of a business model. To schedule a 20-minute phone call with me to get to know each other and see if we ought to talk further, please visit: http://PurposePodcast.com/phone
Some insights from Brian Setzler of TriLibrium, the triple bottom line CPA and Accounting firm (paraphrased):
Anything we try to maximize, we blow up. If we can create a system in balance, on the other hand, everyone wins.
Ben and Jerry’s was started to help Vermont dairy farmers. Their success hasn’t been because they have the best ice cream or the best marketing or the best price, but because people connect with their purpose. (Ben & Jerry’s is a Certified B Corp, as is TriLibrium)
Several ways to look at and think about purpose
To help our customers succeed across the triple bottom line.
To serve small business.
To be a model and inspiration for other businesses, the power of business to make a positive difference in the world.
book: The Living Company (as opposed to a business as a machine). Half of the fortune 500 from 30 years ago doesn’t exist today. On the other hand, there are hundreds of companies around the world today that are over 300 years old. What does it take to build a company with that kind of stability?
People come to work for a paycheck but loyalty and commitment and dedication is tied to purpose.
BLabs is the organization that does the B Corp certification (BCorporation.net). As Brian talked about, anyone can do the assessment. I went ahead and did the assessment for my business. They give you a score at the end and 3 different benchmarks: normal businesses average 50, sustainable businesses average 80 and certified B Corps average 91. My initial score was 56, so we have some work to do. For example, Brian talked about how his company didn’t have a maternity leave policy when they took the initial assessment. That’s true for me too, and many other areas where I don’t have policies. My vision is very community-focused, but almost none of that is written down in policies. I’ll keep you updated over time as I learn more about what changes I can make and which ones I decide to make.
TriLibrium.com (“Tri” for triple bottom line and “librium” from “equilibrium”)
Jenelle Isaacson’s Living Room Realty is Developing Vibrant Communities. This purpose (they call it their mission) came out of work they did internally to determine their core values. This are real estate agents as you’ve never imagined them!
Living Room Realty is a Certified B Corp (of fewer than 1000 companies worldwide, including New Seasons and Ben & Jerry’s). B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.