8 Things We Learned About Building A Socially Conscious Company from The Heart Series
Have you ever wanted to do something good for the world? For so many people, the call to give back is one that rings loud and clear. Unfortunately, for decades, doing good and being a creative in business have been at odds with each other, leaving people to choose one path or another. In recent years that hasn't been the case with more and more companies building themselves on the foundation of conscious consumerism - think buzzy words like eco-friendly, sustainable and fair trade. Recognizing that business and bettering the world isn't just a trend but rather the wave of the future, The Heart Series, came to fruition from the minds of Megan Sette and Gail Cayetano Classick. We sat in on the two day event and learned from some of the most influential people from some of the most daring companies about leveraging their creativity to spread good throughout the world. Here are the eight things we learned about building a socially conscious and creative business.
1. Don't Try To Fix Everything All At Once
Let's face it, there's a lot of fixing to do all around the world. It's tempting to try solve every problem but the truth is that you would be doing yourself (and everyone else) a disservice. Erica Stanuli is the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at GoPro and she said, "The responsible part of giving is to focus. You can’t try to fix everything.”
2. Be Good At Doing Good
Measuring the impact you have is just as important as the work you do. Ann Wang, CEO of Enrou said, "If you're passionate about what you do, you can get momentum behind it. If you want to do good and combine that with passion, find a way to have both things travel up in the same direction. Impact should grow in the same direction in revenue."
3. Build Meaningful Relationships
They say it's all about who you know! Seek out others who align with your mission whether it's a non-profit or a business looking to serve the same audience as you. Building relationships can help your brand go further, faster. "You cannot undervalue the relationships that you build. When you build an authentic relationship with people, you never know how they will impact you in the future," said Danielle Silber of the International Rescue Committee, sighting that a chance meeting with an HBO executive landed her a deal with Game Of Thrones.
4. Don't Let Lack of Resources Stop You
Don't know how to ask for help? The secret is to just ask. "If you don’t ask you have 0% of having a yes or no. If you ask you have 50% yes or 50% no", said Francis Aquino of Headspace. You don't have to have a ton of money or be a part of the in crowd to get a seat at the table. All you have to have is the nerve to ask and involve a little bit of strategy to identify the key players. "I was one person with an idea with no money," said Monika Wiela, CEO of Give Back Box. "My strategy was to find a company and talk to one person at a time (no matter) who they are." That's exactly how she landed Amazon as a partner!
5. The Key To Going Viral
Want to create content that gets everyone talking? Tell a human, authentic story that isn’t all about you. “It shouldn’t be a commercial for you," said Adam Mordecai of Upworthy. "Know your story, know the points, pay attention to the platforms so that you can utilize the good things about that platform and who you want it to reach." To that point, be sure that people don't see it, feel it, and move on. Make sure that they can easily share the content and have a place to discuss.
6. Make People Feel Like They Can Conquer The World
Solving the problems of the world is a task that no one can take on alone. Building a community of like-minded people who champion the same causes you do is key. How do you do that? Present the problem in a way that shows that it’s not insurmountable.
7. There Is A Place for Doing Good and Creativity
Ever feel like the arts are frivolous and that you should be doing more to help? Don't discount the impact of creativity in the world of social responsibility. “The arts feed us in a way that cannot be ignored.” said Nigel Lythgoe, famed producer and co-Founder of Dizzy Feet Foundation.
8. You Can Do This!
The one thing everyone on stage could agree on was that the first step to success in any business is to believe that you can create lasting waves of change. Voltaire Xodus, founder of ReUp said, "A lot of people play it safe. This is a time when if you play it too safe, we all lose. With social enterprise right now, those (risky) ideas are really needed.”
To learn more about The Heart Series visit theheartseries.com
Photos courtesy of Paper Ban Studios