This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo we continue our exploration of the Benefit Corporation model, or “B Corps”; a model that can help you take care of your profit while taking care of your people and the planet. This is what has become known as the Triple Bottom Line.
Dirk Sampselle, founder of B Revolution, Inc., joined us on the show to share how the B Corps model can help business owners take care of their profit by taking care of their people, their communities and our planet.
Dirk is a nationally-recognized expert in the Benefit Corporation legal entity and B Corporation certification. He served as an author of the legislative memorandum used to advocate for the benefit corporation legal entity; it was passed in one state when he wrote it; it is legal now in twenty states!
During the interview I wanted to highlight the very important concept of adding socially and environmentally benevolent behaviors to the competitive proposition of a business. This is a huge shift from the traditional model that focuses on increasing profit and justifying all efforts as means to create more profit!
Let's face it, many efforts required to behave in socially and environmentally benevolent ways may negatively impact the bottom line in the short term.
In the traditional approach, social and environmental behaviors are nice to talk about, but if they get in the way of the quarterly goals, they tend to be put on the back burner.
This is why I believe so strongly in the B Corps movement as it relates to the concept of my show Leading Beyond the Status Quo.
B Corps are setting the stage for a new generation of corporate leadership! (Tweet This)
Investors and employees want more than profits!
Investors no longer want just a profit return, they want to know that the business they are investing in is making an impact. In addition, employees want to work for companies that can do more than just generate revenue. Employees want to be engaged and motivated. Serving their communities and themselves as a way to help a company succeed is a very attractive proposition.
Becoming a B Corp can help business owners and executives leverage their societal and environmental efforts to showcase their overall positive impact as a business. As Dirk explained during the interview, there are two parts that business owners and executives need to understand; the B Corp Legal Transition and the B Corp Certification.
The B Corp Certification provides a legitimate scoring model that documents and showcases the company societal and environmental impact! This is a wonderful opportunity to help promote the company as a premium brand that can foster trust with its customers, its employees, and the communities where the business operates.
The B Corp legal entity on the other hand, makes the company legally accountable for environmental and social impact. The traditional model for organizations focuses almost exclusively on generating profit. The company can do anything they can to help society and the planet, but the organization has to rationalize every effort back to profit. Profit is THE bottom line.
The B Crop legal entity provides an alternative by providing shareholders and investors with a way to hold the company accountable for pursuing the public good. In addition, the legal entity allows the corporation to specify what that public good is!
Is this good for business? Absolutely!
During the interview, Dirk shares research findings that show B Corps are 60% more likely to survive an economic recession!
In addition, companies have an authentic marketing message. B Corp owners, like Elisa Miller-Out, CEO of the software company Singlebrook, are reducing their marketing budgets because their community efforts are spreading the word about their business!
Interested in becoming a B Corp?