Thursday, December 25, 2008

Intelligent optimists

Ode Magazine is one that can always surprise me. It bills itself as the magazine for intelligent optimists. Ode generally avoids the traps of the typical headlines and finds stuff that is working in the real world. Importantly, that stuff is making the world better.

Our copy of the Jan/Feb 2009 issue recently landed. The cover story is specifically devoted to the top '25 intelligent optimists who are creating a better tomorrow today'.

There are folks nominated by some of the world's great visionaries as being among the 'best and brightest' in important emerging fields worldwide.

This issue has so many worthy entries I can't even begin to summarize. However, one of the nominees that especially caught my eye was Rinaldo Brutoco, Founder of the World Business Academy. I have just learned of this gentleman and this organization. First impressions are great. I've ordered some of their materials to learn more. In short, what I know is that Mr. Brutoco is a solid business guy and a long time board member of The Men's Warehouse, which has created a sustainable, viable, multi-bullion dollar business model following high ethical standards.

So as a Christmas present, I'll post some of what Ode said about Mr. Brutoco and the World Business Academy: "The Academy encourages managers to see beyond short-term profits and look for sustainability in all areas of their businesses, from relationships with employees, to interactions with suppliers. Brutoco says this approach isn't just ethically sound, it's good for business. 'Current events show that we desperately need businesses to take responsibility for the whole of society,' he says. 'In the past business was encouraged to see itself as swashbuckling or raiding rather than contributing to and building an economically just society. When greed dominates, you get exactly the kind of crisis we now have.'"

Ode continues… "Still Brutoco sees business as the solution to the problems it helped create. 'The competencies of business, properly motivated and directed, can solve every problem in the world better than any other institution,' he says. The key is for business people to add values, not just value. 'What would it look like if you brought your compassion as well as your intellect to work? What would you do if you cared about how everyone in society fares?'"

Good stuff. I think this approach not only works with large businesses, it is a MUST for smaller enterprises of all types. The kind of economics that are emerging from this mess we are in will require that new and emerging enterprises provide value and values. This doesn't mean you have to cure cancer. It does mean you have to love what you are doing and put that sincerity into your offering. And you have to love and honor the process of doing enterprise.

And what does that get you? In this new emerging economy, a business model that can demonstrate its values in its products and services earns customers. Those enterprises that can live out their sustainable models with all stakeholders, in turn become increasingly sustainable themselves. That's what's required to be considered a professional going forward. Anything less marks you as just another vendor passing by unheeded and unneeded.

Remember, you have to be a professional at every level, even (especially!) if you are a one or two person enterprise just starting up.

I've seen sustainable enterprises work over and over at the small business level. This practice is now thankfully taking over big organizations. Put this into practice as you grow your own enterprise, and you'll find it works for you too.

My best to everyone! Merry Christmas 2008!

Ode Magazine

The World Business Academy

1 comment:

Lena M Holmberg said...

Thank you for a very interesting blog! I'm also a fan of Ode and I just found out that Professor David Cooperrider at "The Center for Business as an Agent for World Benefit" is working with Rinaldo Brutoco on an index to measure the sustainability of products. Isn't that great!