BiddingForGood Focuses on Lessons in Social Enterprise
Lessons from Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard
This week, the Wall Street Journal ran a profile of Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor clothing brand Patagonia and a model for corporate social responsibility done right. Chouinard also has a new book out this month, “The Responsible Company,” which offers companies advice for making money without inflicting undue societal harm. Here is our favorite quote from the WSJ article, which also embodies the social-driven mission of our work at BiddingForGood:
“His approach to leading a company is perhaps best understood as a sort of performance art—less about the bottom line than about providing a road map for future entrepreneurs. ‘I never even wanted to be in business,’ he says. ‘But I hang onto Patagonia because it's my resource to do something good. It's a way to demonstrate that corporations can lead examined lives.’”
Competitive Advantages of For-Profit Social Enterprises
Our own Jon Carson (@JonCarsonB4G) contributed a piece to Huffington Post this week about the competitive advantages of for-profit social enterprises. Jon argues that the model, once thought of as naïve, is indeed an effective way to compete in today’s competitive business climate. The tangible advantages baked into social enterprise include attracting and retaining human capital, brand equity, and customer loyalty to name just a few. Jon’s first point in the article is that for these models to work well, they really need to be born from the authentic view of the founder. Based on the first article in our roundup, I’d say Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard would be a good example of this authenticity principle!
Creating Shared Value
The Guardian newspaper in the UK ran a blog post this week on how the concept of creating shared value goes beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) by using business resources to drive social progress, profitably. The author argues, “Engaging business as business, not as a charitable donor, nor through public relations, is one of the most powerful forces we have for social progress.” One example offered in the article is Novartis and their efforts to change health behaviors in emerging markets. They hired community health educators, held training camps for providers, and built up a distribution system to rural clinics.
Have you noticed any examples of companies moving from CSR to a shared value approach? Tell us about them in the comments. You can also view BiddingForGood’s thoughts on creating shared value in this blog post.