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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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3 Long-Lasting Sustainable Companies Teach How To Both Thrive And Give Back

3 Long-Lasting Sustainable Companies Teach How To Both Thrive And Give Back | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Inspiring Rockstars of the new economy ~ companies which inspire us with their ability to make money while making a difference, as well as their high growth and high impact."


Operating from 25 to nearly 225 years, these companies have maintained their commitment to mission through up and down business cycles, continued to create high-quality jobs and to improve the quality of life in our communities, and paved the way for today’s growing group of green, responsible, and sustainable businesses.


1) Sun Light and Power, founded in 1976,  has been providing renewable energy and energy efficiency technology to California homeowners and businesses throughout on-again, off-again government support for solar.

  • SLP has also remained devoted to its employees and the community and became a B Corp in 2009. 
  • Rather than subcontracting installations (a common industry practice), the company hires full-time employees and provides a living wage, health benefits, a retirement plan, and paid time off.


2) Seventh Generation founded in 1988,  is one of the nation’s most recognized brands of natural household and personal care products.  

  • The company has also grown its high-quality job base, doubling the size of its team to 113 in 2011.
  • All of Seventh Generation’s products, raw materials, byproducts, and processes are sustainable.

3)  King Arthur Flour, after nearly 225 years in business, their secret is: focusing on employees.
  • They began as a family-owned business before transitioning towards an employee-ownership model in 1996 and finally becoming 100% employee owned and thriving.
  • Aan employee-owned B Corp, KAF has the freedom to emphasize values beyond profit, like environmental responsibility, community engagement, and the wellness and satisfaction of employees. 
  • More than 80% of health care premiums are paid for families and both full- and part-time employees receive a living wage.

What are the priorities of your company?  One of Deb's recent posts:
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Sustainable businesses that are thriving are great role models for us all.  Sharing the examples thanks to B Lab and Fast Company's co-create listings.  ~  Deb

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Ian Berry's curator insight, January 7, 2015 4:43 PM

"The ability to live their values at work is the secret to King Arthur Flour’s longevity and success." Key to a company thats been successful for 225 years. Should be a sign for us all!

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Social Good Leadership in Media: More Donors Raise the Bar for the 100th Neediest Cases Campaign

Social Good Leadership in Media:  More Donors Raise the Bar for the 100th Neediest Cases Campaign | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it
Donors to the 100th campaign of the Neediest Cases Fund responded in greater numbers than in past years, helping the fund top $7 million for the first time in five years.


The New York Times has good news to report with its 100th campaign to do good. It did what a now multi-platform publishing business does best, share stories about:

  • Elfreda McMillan and her son, Thonn, a teenager whose 85-pound body has been ravaged by a rare disease
  • Isabella Rivera, an 86-year-old widow who survived the death of a son, a fire and a stabbing by a naked attacker. 
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Donors responded in greater numbers than in the past three campaigns, reversing a trend of falling totals and helping the fund top $7 million for the first time in five years.
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Perhaps this good news mirrors hope for our US economy as well?
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Michael Golden, the president of the fund and vice chairman of The New York Times Company said, “...readers and viewers of The New York Times are touched by these stories and want to help people that they don’t know in this time when there is a lot of misfortune.” 
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The Balance of Fearlessness, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, Businesses Aiding the World’s Poor

The Balance of Fearlessness, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, Businesses Aiding the World’s Poor | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund, which invests in businesses aiding the world’s poor, says, '...it’s holding that balance of not being reckless, but also having a huge element of fearlessness.'"

  

Insights into those working with the world's poor, including this leader, sheds light on moldering, out-of-date leadership practices and new ways of leading that have yet to take hold.

  

Jacqueline Novogratz is the chief executive of the Acumen Fund which invests in businesses aiding the world’s poor. This interview was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.


This also goes with this quote by Arianna Huffington:  


"Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me."

  

Excerpts:

  

Jacqueline Novogratz's approach to leadership:

  

Leaders can get stuck in groupthink because they’re really not listening, or they’re listening only to what they want to listen to, or they actually think they’re so right there's no listening. 

  

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Ask questions in a way that will elicit more nuanced answers...

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The kind of leaders we need....are really open to listening to solutions from people who are most impacted by the problems.

  

I’ll often say at Acumen that you’ve got to learn to listen with your whole body.

  

Lean in and pay attention to their body language and their level of comfort or discomfort. Ask questions in a way that will elicit more nuanced answers, rather than the answers you would like to get.


Q. What kind of culture are you trying to foster at Acumen?

  

We are building companies, and so we have to be really accountable. We’ve got to be tough, and yet we have to be very generous, since we’re working in communities where people make a dollar or two dollars a day.

  

We talk about the power of listening and we juxtapose it with leadership, because sometimes you’ve listened enough, and now it’s time to make a decision.

   

We think about our values [as] a tension or a balance. We talk about listening and leadership; accountability and generosity; humility and audacity.

  

You’ve got to have the humility to see the world as it is …working with poor communities, that’s not easy to do — have the audacity to know why you are trying to make it be different, to imagine the way it could be. And then the immutable values are respect and integrity.


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We’re building something no one has ever really built before, and so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Let’s just make the decision to do something.

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Q. What are some other lessons you’ve learned about how to lead?

  

A. ...I have this mantra: Just start and let the work teach you. We’re building something no one has ever really built before, and so don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Let’s just make the decision to do something.

  

This goes back to audacity and humility. …If you start off talking about all the reasons that you’re not going to get there, you’re not going to get there. …It’s holding that balance of not being reckless, [and] having a huge element of fearlessness.

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Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, October 20, 2012 12:45 AM
I am so happy there are still people like you who are making the lives of the poor easier. Today, as we wake up each morning, we think about what the future brings to us. We complain about bills, how tired are we i solving problems,Yet, all around the world, we did not realize that there are more pitiful and lost souls. We have to accept that we are still more lucky than those people who do not have homes, and are living in war zones.