If we don’t change our professional and personal behaviour, our kids and grandchildren might need to leave this planet, or live under an artificial sky or underground, drink/eat artificial materials.
With COVID, the global culture shifted to be physically more isolated. But this resulted in a more connected and somewhat slower world. We learned to appreciate being at home, walking our dogs, biking around the block or cleaning up our garden.
Many people and companies shifted to a less stressful and more meaningful behaviour. Our LACiX framework balances out the 5 key areas to create and maintain a small footprint but extraordinary outcomes.
There is also a worldwide standard that can give you the tools and practices on how to balance purpose with profit and create a sustainable future. These are the Certified B Corporations. You can choose to be responsible for your future. Congratulations to Team Trineo to be in the 40 certified B Corps, an elite list of organisations that can meet high world-class standards.
In the last blog, I wrote about the bright beautiful future, where most of the commodity processes are automated by systems and the creative tasks are done by people. This future is only available if we have a planet to live on, we have fresh air to breathe in, we have clean water to drink and we have “free-range humans” to have interesting conversations with. This is not fully available now. Unfortunately, it actually seems to shrink and disappear. But we have a choice to reduce, reuse and recycle at home and in our organisations, to create zero waste in professional and personal lives.
Balance the 5 key areas
By balancing the 5 key aspects of every organisation well, we can be wiser with our resources and participate in the “circular economy”.
1. Sustainable Products
If we start with designing products that can be reused and recycled, we can reduce not just our cost, but increase the Lifetime Value of the Product. If it can be fixed, refurbished, renovated or just partially replaced, it can have a second lifecycle. If our products are designed not to be consumed but used, again and again, we provide value more than once. Even with digital products, if you have a Netflix subscription and you liked a movie, you can watch it again a few times in the coming years. Every time I re-watch a movie, I notice new details and enjoy it more. With physical products, it would be important to collect ideas on how to recycle and reuse them. You can have a workshop and ask your customers, team members and partners, what ideas do they have to extend the usable time of your products.
2. Sustainable Brands
Many people believe that advertising is the only way to grow a company or organisation quickly. Certainly with Google and Facebook platforms you can reach a large audience. But with meaningful work and viral events, you can also create great PR around your brand. If you state your mission and align it with the common good of the society or the closer community, people will support your brand as it fits into their worldview. People want status and belonging. If you create a brand that people want to be associated with it will be a win for them and a win for you. But we need to choose the cause we support carefully. Instead of donating small amounts of money, time and knowledge to multiple charities, I suggest picking and supporting 1-3 charities until they reach a tipping point. When they are popular enough, they can attract more donors and you can choose another cause to incubate.
3. Sustainable Teams
This is the easiest way to fulfil a purpose (mission) and realise a profit at the same time. If you “reuse, recycle and regenerate” your team, you build on the existing team instead of reducing the size and hiring more later. Many companies support the shareholder interest so much that they overuse and burn out their team, instead of refreshing them with innovative ideas, hackathons and team building events. COVID made all of us realise how fragile we are as humans, as a society, and as an economy. If companies let the teamwork from wherever they are the most productive and fulfilled, the overall outcome (fit and value) of the operation will improve, even if their output (volume) might decrease.
4. Sustainable Customers
I see many companies have hundreds and thousands of paying customers. But I see much fewer companies or organizations who care a lot about their customers and “reuse, recycle and re-activate” them. If there is lead nurturing, there should be customer nurturing. If there is lead conversion there should be customer conversion to become repeat customers. If there is a cost of customer acquisition, there should be a cost of customer retention calculated and generously rewarded. Keeping an existing customer is 5 times cheaper than acquiring a new one. Still, many companies don’t grow their customers to become advocates.
5. Sustainable Assets (also Accounting and Accountability)
Big data and analytics have become buzzwords in the last few years. It is meaningless if you have lots of data, but you don’t clean and understand it. Accounting can be used not just for financial assets but human assets (NOT resources), intellectual assets (know-how) and innovation assets (ideas in your domain). If there is a standardised, stable measurement package that is used consistently, your management accounting practice can tell you if you are going ahead or backwards. It all starts with the Values (who are we) and Vision (where are we now and where we want to be). If there is an accountability and incentive system added to financial/management accounting, then the high performers can be rewarded and the low performers can be educated more.
Who are the Certified B Corporations?
What is a B-Corp at all and why would you care? “Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.” Source: https://bcorporation.net/
You would care about these great organizations (small and large) if you believe that we need to leave a livable planet to our children, grandchildren. You would appreciate the values they practise daily if you were motivated to support the force of good. You would love the movement if you wanted clean air, water, home and workplace. You would love to implement the high standards if you wanted to live a high-quality life. This is not about volume, but value. B Corps show you the standard where to go. LACIX framework will take you there.
You can measure your progress with LACiX (a Sustainable, Balanced Business Development Framework)
In the LACIX framework, we defined 7 stages for the PRODUCT, BRAND, TEAM, CUSTOMER quadrants and 4 more stages for the OVERALL BUSINESS ASSETS. Each stage represents a key function that should be done well.
You can measure your maturity on these 33 stages with a quick questionnaire again and again. If you score 1 point for each stage you are on level-1 maturity. 2 points will score you between 33-66 and you are on level-2 maturity. 3 points represent a highly sustainable, global world-class standard.
With this simple but powerful measurement, you can see where your company, organization is failing to be sustainable, human friendly and useful to society.
This framework is in harmony with the B Corp accreditation. Certified B Corps are on high maturity levels. LACIX can help you get there, step by step.
About the Author
Laszlo Csite is a business/agile coach who helps gifted and keen leaders and teams to be extraordinary and fulfil their potential. He is also a digital/CRM product owner, who helps great ideas to grow into admired digital/physical products and brands.
If you enter a new field, want to grow, acquire, split, transform or want to exit - using proven methods can save you time and frustration.
When you are interested, I can show you how to BALANCE & SUSTAIN your product, brand, customers and team. I will share my 24 years of consulting experience and my carefully selected network of professionals with you.
If you find these articles interesting, invite me for a coffee or ask any questions: lacix.co