At the recent PVGrows Forum one of the speakers reflected that he was there to share his knowledge so that others wouldn’t have to bump their heads into walls the way that he had to learn. This is a sentiment that I’ve heard expressed in socially responsible business circles for years, but something about the frank way in which this was shared inspired me to write about it. Continue reading “Sharing Knowledge”
Marry me: Why you should be transparent as a company.
The culture of your business should reflect transparently in the decisions that you make everyday. Why? Because as a business you are trying to develop a strong relationship with the consumer. In any relationship who lets a Non-transparent person into their life for long? As soon as you realize that Wally Martin isn’t telling the full truth, it is a potentially fatal issue. What about WalMart?
Are you holding your companies accountable for their actions in the same way you hold others accountable?
The culture of our businesses is created by people not machines and is therefore controllable and changeable. Understanding that every action has a reaction (the law of thermodynamics) is the most scientific way of explaining that our choices and policies in business affects the people who work there, the product that are produced, the quality, the success, etc. etc. etc.
So think about it. Be clear. Be transparent. Be a company that you’d want to marry.
Randy Paynter of Care 2 brings up a good point when he says that businesses no longer controls their brand or marketing. This is because of the increasing interactions and communications in the digital world which are not controllable by an organization. He points out that today’s purchasing habits allow consumers to access reviews and alternative products with just a few clicks. In the past glossy advertising guided the public perception of a product, but today consumers are no longer limited to canned marketing campaigns medium to inform their opinions.
Randy maintains that this massive shift in power from the seller to the buyer comes in part from the plethora of choices, thereby creating a commodity of any product. In order to achieve brand success he touts the importance of differentiating a product as well as influencing the conversations surrounding it. He suggests that we need to create and engage ‘fanatical evangelists’ to build and communicate brands online.
Listen to the full session here
Steve Newcomb has high aspirations. His company, “Virgance, is a startup incubator that finds great ideas and turns them into companies that change the world. Steve wondered if he could “break the rules and build companies that do good.” His commitment to 100% transparency puts him in front of the public so that they can ask any question about how business is conducted.
Steve has approached the idea of sustainability as he would any market sector and he sees the market opportunity as enormous. The change needed will require not a single Apollo-sized project by hundreds. Seeking to change the very nature of capitalism, Virgance companies adhere to five tenets:
- “Cause as much direct and measurable change as possible.”
- “Always use the carrot and never use the stick.”
- “Use technology and the powers of social networks to get the job done.”
- “Have business models that allow these businesses to be self-sustaining.”
- “Try to involve and empower people to make the change.”
But the plenary wouldn’t have been complete without Malika Chopra, who began the session by guiding the SVN community in a beautiful mediation of gratitude, showing her heritage as the daughter of internationally renowned, Deepak Chopra. While her childhood exposure to the self-help arena and her presence around people who were on a journey of self-exploration, Malika’s early interests steered her to work for MTV initially. But it was while in Bombay that she had a change of heart after seeing a group of barefoot children huddled around a TV watching MTV. “Oh my God, what am I doing?” was all she could think and she decided to quit MTV the next day.
Today, Malika spends her time building a community on Intent, a sanctuary on the web for users to share their intentions and dreams with each other. Malika, a self-proclaimed “social media maven,” has a unique perspective on things because she is coming at it from the perspective of a mother and a woman.
Both Malika and Steve remind us that powerful movements and changes have been created through the use of blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Activities like ‘flash mobs,’ ‘tweet storms,’ and ‘carrot mobs’ can or have been used to create positive social change. The energy generated by this group’s discussion seemed to electrify the air, and that crackling interest will likely lead many of the participants to delve further into their own use of social media in order to create change.