How do you Build a Company that Matters?

Fiduciary Responsibility, Societal Value and the Power of Purpose to Drive Financial Performance:

The rules of business are changing: massive societal forces are at play influencing the collective decisions society is making about whom we want to work for, partner with, buy from, invest in and allow into our communities. As this evolution of sustainability gains speed and as we search for deeper meaning about the relationship between business and society, businesses everywhere need to develop a new set of “must haves” strategic capabilities; Purpose is the foundation, servant leadership is the keystone, culture breathes life into the enterprise and stakeholder engagement is the connective tissue. The winners of the future will not be those companies that focus myopically on “shareholder value” as it’s come to be defined. Rather they will wield a model of authenticity, transparency, a respect for our common bonds and the dignity of all stakeholders as a potent competitive advantage.

According to a recent poll of 1000 individual investors conducted by The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing[1], 71% of these investors are interested in “sustainable” investing. 72% believe that companies who operate with a sustainable model and mindset would actually do better financially. Yet, every day the facts become clearer. Not only in my own work at the Conscious Venture Lab and previously at Concinnity Advisors, the first RIA focused on investing in “conscious” companies. But in research by organizations like Harvard Business School and the Brookings Institution[2]; the “bottom line” is that these companies — ones that understand the power of purpose, building an authentic culture, run by servant leaders and who operate for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just shareholders — are simply better managed companies and therefore investing in them is bound to be financially viable over the long-term.

The Conscious Venture Lab is an accelerator that gives early stage entrepreneurs the tools to build companies that matter! We help them build societal value into the DNA of their business. The Lab acts as the early stage pipeline for the Conscious Venture Fund.

Now, we’ve launched a new workshop — Boot Camp / Powered by Conscious Venture Lab — which will work with later stage companies to help them develop new competitive capabilities based on the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. The Boot Camp, an intense day long “mini-accelerator” will also be a new source of growth-stage investment candidates for the Conscious Venture Fund.

The initial workshop ran in London earlier this spring. We will conduct the next programs in collaboration with the Conscious Capitalism Chapter of New York and our sponsors and partners Shinola and Hospitality Quotient, in Baltimore on June 7 and New York on June 9th .

The Boot Camp is an excellent opportunity for growth stage company executives to take their teams on a deep dive into the stakeholder operating model, deepen their understanding of what it means to operate a conscious company and start their journey to higher performance.

At the Conscious Venture Fund we seek to invest in early and growth stage companies that want to operate from this more holistic standpoint, using societal value as the surest path to greater financial performance. Interested executives or investors looking to drive performance in your portfolio companies can find out more about the programs here and sign up for the New York work shop here. The Baltimore site will be launched within the next few days.

Join us in this mission to transform the practice of capitalism and in the process grow a more exceptional and sustainable business!

[1] Sustainable Signals, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, February 2015

[2] Turning a Profit While Doing Good: Aligning Sustainability with Corporate Performance, Center for Effective Management, Brookings, December 2014.

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