New Normal Company: the Why, How and What in our B-Corp Company Statute
A company like the one I manage doesn’t have a vision, but it has a purpose. Instead of a mission, a purpose is the definition of a “spiritual body” that identifies the higher why of the company itself. That is basically the inner mission of the founders and of the people that will work around the company.
How can we incarnate the whole purpose inside a company by law?
Italy is the second country in the world that allows the purpose to be added into the Company Statute. This is a good option for a company founder when building the “company constitution”.
Here I want to discuss why we’ve chosen to write a company statute like this.
It starts with:
“As a Benefit Corporation the company intends to pursue the principles of equality, brotherhood and legality, …”
We start by identifying the common funding principles of the company. We recognize equality, brotherhood and legality before all and we think these are the common elements for a real company. If we think about this as the DNA of our company’s body, this would tend to be the brain. We like to think that we have to work with these three main principles in mind. Everything we’ll do must adhere to all these three principle. So when taking decision we must justify equality, brotherhood and legality.
Then, like in a body, we have to feel what we do. It’s much more than thinking with the brain, it’s thinking with the heart.
And we follow our company’s statute in this way:
“… in order to favour an ecosystem between nature, humans (especially in the personal sphere), shareholders, stakeholders and, more generally, the local community and all the parts that are influenced by the company’s activities in any way. …”
These feelings are at the emotion level. We feel we are at the same level in an ecosystem. Respect and compassion are two of the keys of this feeling. We are acting in an ecosystem that is favoring an ecosystem. We do software and we must understand that every action we do must permeate into the ecosystem. Like in the heart or lungs, with this statement we are pushing the idea of a rhythm that exchanges things with things. This is the inhale and exhale of the company where every action we take is in harmony with the universe. We do things only because we feel these things resonate at an emotional level.
We then move to the will and we describe some special action we want to take for benefit and for money. Thinking again about this as the DNA of the company, we can visualize it as the hands or as our reproductive system. We link actions with benefit and move our attention to something that is really connec5tted with the company. So whilst we don’t have any boundaries on business opportunities, we would stick to a specific location for the company benefit results. The original funders of the company are from Valtellina, a nice valley in the Alps.
The second concern is about actions: the company is creating revenues through virtual services. We understand that we are part of an ecosystem and all we agree that agriculture is still the key, so we decided to direct the company’s actions specifically towards the agricultural community to create benefit for the society.
Here our company statute says:
“… Special attention is given to the production of benefit for the local agricultural community of Valtellina, to favour the evolution of the primary sector as an advantage for society. …”
Then we go on to describe our normal company behavior and the way our shareholders make money.
“… In virtue of the principles of benefit, the company’s objectives include the following activities:
support the organizations that operate in the field of technology, science, industry, economics and finance and aid them in the adoption and proficuous use of innovative technologies and methodologies in the field of software and, more generally, of Information Technology and organization.
The company’s actions will also be seen through:
- Ideation, realization, maintenance, working operations, supply of platforms, hiring of owned or third party hardware or software with own or third party tools;
- Consulting and specific services, also in the form of temporary work;
- Development and training of staff from various companies in the use of information technologies;
- All actions that will result relevant in the pursuit of the company’s stated objectives;
The company can — in an instrumental way and without this becoming the main objective — acquire and concede agencies, commissions, representatives and mandates, and also perform commercial transactions (also import-export), financial transactions (not towards the public), movable and immovable, necessary or useful for reaching the company’s stated social objectives.
The company can also acquire, occasionally and not permanently, interests and participation in other companies of any nature who have a similar objective, connected to the company’s own. The company can issue sureties and other general guarantees, also real and also towards third parties as long as they are in the interest of society.
All these activities must be conducted in compliance and in respect of the laws that govern the company, with expressed exclusion of professional and non-professional activities which are reserved by law to people enrolled in Registers or Professional Associations.”
Conclusions: the rise of New Normal Companies
Companies exist for a specific purpose that is not only to create money for the shareholders and the investors. Companies must have revenues and create value; this is in the nature of companies. I like to define as “New Normal Company” a company that works with an inner why and feels with its inner heart in order to change the world.