Cultural Creativity at Work

Share your ideas about responsible business practices, conscious consuming, social responsibility, the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) and sustainability. 

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Green Marketing Myopia

According to their article, "How To Avoid Green Marketing Myopia," authors note that "Green marketing must satisfy two objectives" which are:

  1. Improved environmental quality
  2. Customer satisfaction (quality, pricing = value)

and that:

"Misjudging either or overemphasizing the former at the expense of the latter is what can be called green marketing myopia."

They advise avoiding green marketing myopia by fulfilling consumer needs and interests beyond environmental benefits.

How to Avoid Green Marketing Myopia
by Jacquelyn A. Ottman, Edwin R. Stafford, and Cathy L. Hartman

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Decision To Buy: What Do We Base It On to Become More Conscientious Shoppers?

There are three movements in the attempt to do business and buy more conscientiously. Some of these terms and initiatives are often used interchangeably or have various elements in common.

Preliminary Discussion Questions:

  • What do each of the terms mean to you?
  • How do you make your buying decisions now?

Here are some resources that address the causes of each:

Locally-Owned Business

(Decision to Buy Based on a Business' Location / Proximity)

Independently Owned Businesses

(Decision to Buy Based on a Business' Leadership Type, Legal Structure, Dependance on other Entities)

Small Businesses

(Decision to Buy Based on a Business' Size: Number of Employees or Amount of Annual Receipts)

Responsible/Sustainable Business / Socially Responsible Corporation

(Decision to Buy Based on a Business' Values and Actions)

More Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think the terms have become interchgangable?
  • Which term(s) do you feel your business is most closely associated with?


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Friday, March 09, 2007

Supporting Creative People: The Creative Bill of Rights

Supporting Creative People

  • What is the relationship between your creativity and the people you serve?
  • Do you find that your work environment fosters or inhibits your creativity -- and what do you attribute this experience to?
  • How do you think others can be supportive -- or more supportive -- of creative people?
Here's one idea:

Creative Bill of Rights by Joan Throckmorton

  1. No creative person shall be denied reasonable access to product, service, market or test information.
  2. Creative people must understand the "big picture" and how the specific assignment fits in.
  3. Creative people need time to work research, ponder, write, design and revise with perspective. They do not work best under pressure. (No one does.)
  4. All creative people are entitled to working privacy, peace and quiet. (Their work is especially hard on the head.)
  5. Creative people should be given the opportunity to present and explain their own work.
  6. Creative work must be respected. It can be critiqued, criticized and discussed, but only the creator should revise, cut, edit, amend or rework.
  7. Creative people deserve to know - and understand - the results of their work, for better or worse.
  8. Creative people need on-the-job support, encouragement, reinforcement, stroking. (If you present an assignment with enthusiasm, it will be received with enthusiasm.)
  9. Creative people deserve internal recognition as well as rewards for good work. (A sincere compliment does wonders.)
  10. Good pay is even better. (It's hard to overpay a top creative person.) You'll find this out the minute you lose one!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Creativity & the Entrepreneurial Spirit

I doubt I've ever met an entrepreneur who wasn't also creative. Being able to envision a way out of the rat race alone requires creativity -- not to mention the creativity needed to manifest a new source of income.

But what is the relationship between the Creative Entrepreneur and the Cultural Creative Entrepreneur?

Qualities of an Entrepreneur

Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of Before You Quit Your Job, explores what qualities people need to successfully transition from employee to entrepreneur-- and from entrepreneur to business leader.

Kiyosaki's main ideas are:

  1. A successful entrepreneur finds the right idea, the right people to act on the idea and the right money to leverage the project.
  2. A successful entrepreneur operates from freedom and opportunity rather than security and resources.
  3. The best time to answer the tough questions about starting a business is before starting the business. Some of these questions are:

    a. How badly do I want my own business and why?
    b. How much will I extend myself to succeed?
    c. Am I afraid to fail? If so, how can I make this a strength?
    d. Am I willing to educate myself on the essential components of a successful business?

An Entrepreneur Plus Cultural Creative Values = A Social Entrepreneur

Cultural Creative entrepreneurs, more often referred to as social entrepreneurs, are those entrepreneurs who focus on creating innovations and inventions that improve life for everyone.

Bill Drayton of Ashoka, an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting social entrepreneurship as well as transforming the face of social innovation, points out that social entrepreneurs "are not content just to give a fish...or to teach someone how to fish. [Social entrepreneurs] will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry."

We could easily say that the social entrepreneur has a bit more to chew than the average entrepreneur: the concern for people, planet and profit.

And yet social entrepreneurs have taken a step in a new direction -- from the non-profit and charitable forms into the commercial sector. Now social entrepreneurs are realizing that it's okay -- nay, preferable to capitalize on their good works.
  • Profit is one characteristic of a healthy organization because it is the result of
  • Profit creates an obvious incentive to work and produce.
  • The commercial sector has more flexibility and agility than the non-profit sector.
  • Jerr Boschee notes that: "Living from year to year does not ensure the future, and that is the moment when [founders] begin migrating from innovation to entrepreneurship." (Batstone)
  • Donald Trump believes that charity creates a culture of entitlement.
  • Robert Harrington: "If you want to help poor people of the world, step one is to make sure you're not one of them."
  • Molly Gordon: "When we keep our businesses on starvation diets, they present famished faces to the world."

So what's the problem with non-profit?

Paraphrasing Mathew Richter, non-profit creator:
  • Because there are so many non-profits, there's far less money for individual nonprofits now than there was 30 years ago.
  • The government requires quantified results vs. qualified results -- prioritizing performance over mission. And this means lots of paperwork.
  • The nonprofit structure hampers nonprofits' ability to compete with for-profits in the commercial realm. A nonprofit has the same opportunity as a for-profit, but because a non-profit isn't allowed to capitalize, they have to grow the business through programs and fundraising. By the time this happens, the opportunity has passed.
Regina Herzlinger says that neither nonprofits nor government are to be trusted. She writes that "they lack the three basic accountability measures that ensure effective and efficient business operation: the self-interest of owners, competition, and [because of the "decision by committee" structure] the ultimate bottom-line measure of accountability." Everyone and no one is accountable

The 'tyranny' of a board of directors is at the crux of the problem of whether the nonprofit structure works for an organization," continues consultant Claudia Bach.

Share Your Wisdom
  • How did you start your business?
  • What internal resources , or qualities, made it possible for you to make it a reality?
  • What advice would you give other budding Cultural Creative / social entrepreneurs?
  • What legal status (for-profit or non-profit) is your business and why did you choose that status?

Subject Matter: business wisdom, small business, entrepreneurs, entrepreneur, big business, courage, starting a business, business startup, business start-up, micro business, book report, book review, book summary, book synopsis, book abstract, Robert T. Kiyosaki, Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Before You Quit Your Job

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Management Principles of 3M

"As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way.

"Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs.

"Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it's essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow."

William L. McKnight, Founder of 3M