Monday, November 2, 2009

"Mission Driven Companies"

I was reading the Stanford Social Innovation Review today, and came across the article

Making the B-List:
The B Corp seal of approval distinguishes
truly responsible businesses
from mere poseurs.

It talked about the existence of, and need to properly identify authentic mission-driven companies. Companies that are, at the very heart of their operations, trying to do some good.

"Mission-Driven Companies". I like the sound of it.

I like the fact that there are companies set up to be something other than just profit-driven. With their bylaws rewritten not just to require board members to sell to the highest bidder, but to consider sustainability and socio-environmental impact as well.

I especially like the fact that some people are taking it a step further to create a certification process, a.k.a. 'The B List', to separate the real do-gooders from the greenwashers. (Or, as this article calls it, "good companies" vs. just "good marketing".)

What I'd really love to do is to be the one making the good marketing for good companies :-) Yes, that's why I joined advertising in the first place, hoping that someday I’d get a chance to do this. Well, I'm still here, and I'm still waiting.

But should I really be waiting for the revolution to happen? Or should I be part of the ones making it happen?

I don’t really know..

Ever since I got back from my New York internship with the World Youth Alliance, I’ve always had this dream of getting a scholarship to the Stanford Graduate School of Business to get a chance to study at their Center for Social Innovation. To really just focus my time on learning more about Corporate Social Responsibility. To understand the core ideas of development and sustainability in order to fully appreciate what role private corporations can play within that bigger picture.

Well, two years down the line… I’ve gotten so busy (and yes, I admit, overly-involved) with my job that I hardly had time to spend on my advocacy work.

But was it all a waste? Not at all. I feel like my training at work has been set on hyper-speed, and I cannot for the life of me understand how all that knowledge and experience could have been gained I such a short span of two years. No doubt these professional skills would come in highly useful in my advocacy work as well.

But that is not to say I am 100% sure that I should be here. And neither am I 100% sure that I should be on the other side doing something else, too.

And so while I am still undecided, I guess I can wait a little bit longer and be happy to straddle both worlds – a little bit of advertising here, and a little bit of advocacy there. And with some luck, perhaps I’ll find myself at a place where I won’t have to choose one over the other.

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