In the past few years, it seems more and more companies have exploded onto the scene with great big missions. And older companies are making waves for their causes, too.
You have companies like TOMS, with their B1G1 model for giving away free shoes, or Patagonia donating a $10M tax-break to climate causes.
On the surface, it may seem like these companies are just doing a better business strategy, but there is more to it than just a pricing strategy.
There’s a soul to it. There’s storytelling. There’s an evolution happening in business.
And our guest today, Yanik Silver, is the leading expert on this evolution. Founder of Maverick1000 and two-time Oscar Meyer shootout champion, Yanik is the author of “Evolved Enterprise,” a book that delves into why this evolution — and revolution — is taking over.
I’ve learned so much from Yanik’s book, so I’m super excited for you all to hear some of his great ideas.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- What makes an enterprise evolved
- Why evolved enterprises are taking over
- How you can evolve your company
- Why sharing your story matters
This post is based on a podcast with Yanik Silver. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.
What is an evolved enterprise?
Yanik: I call it an evolved enterprise. There’s a lot of terms for it: There’s conscious capitalism, triple-bottom-line business, for benefit companies… But really, it’s just the idea that business can make a greater influence in the world and make a greater difference.
Some people say, “Well, that’s what a charity should be doing…”
But, the truth is, business has the levers, whether it’s through our voice, our talent on our teams, our reach or our actual product or service. This includes the employees you hire — I call this empowered employment — and your supply chain.
There are all these different ways you can make a difference.
In a few years, if you don’t have a core-impact to your business, you’re going to be effectively out of business.
Why evolved enterprises are taking over
Yanik: That’s because consumers are willing to pay the same — or more — to change brands for one with a greater mission or purpose. That’s from the outside.
From the inside, team members want to work for a company with a greater mission and purpose, too.
So it’s not just this soft and fuzzy thing. It has a real, measurable impact on the bottom line, as well.
Patagonia is a great example. They’ve been one of the touchstone companies using their business as a lever to make a difference.
They got a $10 million tax refund from one of Trump’s economic packages and they used all of it for environmental projects. Then they used the front page of their website to share their voice.
So, a lesson for the entrepreneurs and business owners out there: We have a voice and we can put it out there.
How to evolve your company
Yanik: I talk about this in Evolved Enterprise, how you move from a transactional company to a transformational company, to a transcending company.
Transformational means the identity of everyone who is touched changes. A customer’s identity changes so they feel like they’re part of the solution and helping to make a greater difference in the world.
One of the ways a company can move towards this is an authentic mission purpose. We’re living in an age of increased transparency. If you say you’re doing something, you better be doing it because it’s going to come out.
Consumers are not dumb. They have lots of options and they’re going to choose a company that matches their values. And they can vote with their dollars.
But the story has to be authentic and genuine. It’s usually going to come from the CEO or the founder — this is their story. And they wanted to put out something into the world that would help.
Usually, it’s around the key cause: What kind of impact do you want to make?
Sharing your story matters
Yanik: So, there are a lot of different ways you can make a difference, but then you have to share what you’re doing with people, right?
If they don’t know you and you don’t share your story with them, they won’t know. And your story could maybe motivate them to do some of these things in their own organizations.
How do you get people to become zealots and advocates for what you’re doing?
You can look at these things like they’re tactics or like they are bigger-picture strategies. And that’s going to come from the bigger purpose you want to have with your company and it’s going to cascade down.
So you can get people talking about you in the street or, in a B2B company, I’d want people talking about me at the trade show that matters.
There are lots of cool, tactical ways to get them talking in the right rooms.