- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 1 Review [Part 1]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 1 Review [Part 2]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 1 Review [Part 3]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 2 Review [Part 1]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 2 Review [Part 2]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 3 Review [Part 1]
- Conscious Capitalism 2015: Day 3 Review [Part 2]
Wednesday, April 8th
Day 2 was the “full-day” of the conference (Tuesday & Thursday were only part days), and it can best be described as Practicum Day. There were four extended sessions through the day, each with four different choices. If I had any complaint about the conference it was the difficulty I had choosing which practicums to attend. I would have happily stayed an extra day had I had the opportunity to attend more of these sessions.
They were that good.
With four choices for each session, it meant there were a total of 256 potential tracks one could take through the offerings. This is my particular experience—my choice out of the 256.
Build a Conscious Business Workshop: Measure What Matters
Saskia Van Gendt
While I have heard of B-Corps in the past and I had a rough idea of what they were, by and large they were still a mystery to me… mostly because I haven’t really researched them at all.
This was my chance to dive in feet first.
While not all businesses can register with their state government as a B-Corp (only about 20 states provide special tax structure benefits), any corporation can qualify as a B-Corp. This is done through the third-party assessor, B Lab. Take the assessment, and if the company qualifies, it can become certified as a B-Corp.
However, even if certification isn’t the current goal, the certification materials provided by B Lab can still be of great benefit. Part of being a social company is the attempted unification of the life in and out of the office. In other words, we want to avoid the common bifurcation between one’s work life and one’s home life. It’s also about moving from only maximizing shareholder value to maximizing shared value.
Along this path, we need to have milestones and markers to let us know how well we are progressing on this journey.
Companies who are certify as B-Corps are required to go through the re-certification process every two years. In other words, at a minimum, they will be getting updated scores in the different key areas every two years. It serves as a benchmark for them to see if they are improving and points out areas where they may like to focus next.
But, there’s nothing that says a company cannot go through the certification questions as often as they would like. In other words, the certification questions for a B-Corp can become yet another metric being used. It’s particularly helpful, as we sometimes feel a little at a loss as to how to measure our progress in some of these areas.
As we look at Conscious Capitalism, what we are trying to do is to build long-term, sustainable, positive-influence corporations with a surrounding self-sustaining, self-healing ecosystem. This is because real shareholder value is built through long-term residency.
Additionally, along the journey, we need to consider the full impact of our decisions. Environmental and social concerns should be part of the top-line, not just slapped on as an afterthought.
All of us have an opportunity to affect our own sphere of influence.
Activating Conscious Capitalism Chapters
Utah doesn’t currently have a chapter of Conscious Capitalism—something I would most certainly like to see changed. This particular practicum was particularly helpful in clarifying in my side exactly what would be needed for setting up a chapter.
While the individual journeys for each chapter varies, there are some basic phases each go through (or repeat, as the case may be):
Phases of Chapters
- Initial enthusiasm and excitement
- Create and articulate intentions
- Overwhelmed by all of the information
- “Figuring Out”
- Clarifying strengths, roles and participation
- Lots of sharing and conversation
- Energy put in far exceeds results
- Demonstrate that you can produce a result
- Requires discipline and integrity
- “What am I doing here?”
- Leadership team turnover
- Reveals your relationship to failure
- You start to gain some momentum
- Results start to equal effort put in
- Inspiration and spontaneity begin to occur
- About being completely reliable
- Showing the willingness to work on something repetitively and routinely
One of the most important aspects of getting a chapter together is the team of people. There are many things to do, and certain people will only commit to do certain things (if anything at all). It’s not uncommon for the leadership team of the chapter to change as it goes through the different phases, as different skills are needed.
Another important consideration is money. It’s a common “Year 1” problem for the chapter to be short of money, often requiring bootstrapping by the original organizers. However, this should not be a deterrent in getting things going. The most important thing is to do what one is able to do. The funds for bigger and more impressive events will come with time.
One of the ways to help with this particular issue is to actively recruit people with the skills that are needed and ask they volunteer some of their time to the cause. There are many “free” resources available for the asking from people who just want to be involved.
One important idea that needs to be established early and reiterated often is the chapter is not about business development per se. It’s about spreading and teaching the ideals and practical knowledge needed for a conscious business (i.e., building conscious leaders). From there we can form a conscious business community. Other benefits will then flow from there.
— Trev Harmon (@trev_harmon) April 8, 2015
Each chapter is unique and should focus on the unique strengths, skills and issues in their particular area. Thereby, the chapters will become yet another force for good in the world.
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