Profitability and Social Responsibility Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible Featuring Lynn
Profitability and Social Responsibility. Some business leaders tell you they can’t be both profitable and socially responsible. I think they are saying they can’t maximize their bonus structures by making decisions that have positive social impacts. A growing number of business leaders are dispelling this myth by leading with profits and social responsibility.
Table of Contents (You must open the episode by clicking on the title to use the following links)
- Profitability and Social Responsibility Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible Featuring Lynn
- Full Transcript Below
Lynn Yap is the Founder of Actv8 Network, whose mission is to increase the participation of women in technology, and entrepreneurship. She started her career as a corporate attorney, graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA, and worked in investment banking.
Her curiosity led her to write about businesses as a force for good. The Altruistic Capitalist culminates conversations with leaders at for-profit corporations, entrepreneurs, and investors, and her personal experience.
The Altruistic Capitalist
Are you tired of hearing that companies can’t create a profit and make a positive impact simultaneously? The Altruistic Capitalist looks to spark change in conversations in board rooms, offices, and schools to turn the focus from sales, profits, and returns to the impact good business can have on people and the planet.
Through her interviews with prominent business leaders as well as her personal experiences in the business world, author Lynn Yap offers ways to rethink capitalism, create a positive impact, and do meaningful work. Y ap looks to tackle questions like:
- Where do people and planet enter into the equation when businesses calculate returns?
- How can we turn a profit while also creating a sustainable business with positive impacts?
- How can companies scale impact to provide benefits to the environment and community?
This book speaks to leaders, social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and innovators who want to change the relationship between business, our people, and the planet. We can no longer rely on governments and non-profit organizations alone to solve our social and environmental problems.
As we look urgently to the business world for solutions, this kinder, more mindful brand of capitalism just may provide a pathway out.
WE INSPIRE, DEVELOP AND CELEBRATE THE POTENTIAL OF YOUNG WOMEN TO CREATE THEIR OWN CAREER PATHS
ACTV8 fosters sustainable and authentic connections between companies and local communities through co-learning programmes.
We develop interactive programmes that cultivate a mindset for continuous learning and teach lifelong skills of creativity, empathy, leadership, collaboration and storytelling.
Over three months, teams of students and mentors work together on community improvement projects through workshops and online mentoring sessions. At every stage participants learn new tools and skills to support them in creating solutions to resolve social themes that they care about.
Throughout the programme, members from our company partners act as mentors for the students and from it, learn and practice new skills alongside the students. Participation in the programme enhances the mentors’ communication and problem-solving skills improves relationships within the social and workplace community, and increases engagement in the workplace.
Full Transcript Below
Profitability and Social Responsibility: Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible Featuring Lynn Yap
Tue, 7/20 2:16PM • 44:34
Estimated reading time: 37 minutes
business, investors, people, companies, quarterly earnings, investing, consumers, book, impact, community, employees, purpose, positive impact, write, talk, thinking, question, started, terms, grit, Profitability and Social Responsibility
Lynn, Roy Barker
Roy Barker 00:04
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests. That speak to a diverse set of topics. We like to hopefully we can bring some things to light. That maybe you haven’t thought about. Or at least we can provide some help, help if there are things that are keeping you up at night. Today is no different. We’re excited to have Lynn Yap with us. She’s been waiting quite some time. So we do want to say thank you for your patience very much.
But Lynn is the founder of ACTV8 Network and that is A C T V 8. I will spell all that out for you in the show notes. But the mission is to increase the participation of women in technology and entrepreneurship. She started her career as a corporate attorney. Graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA and worked in investment banking. Her curiosity, curiosity led her to write about business. As a force for good The Altruistic Capitalist culminates conversations with leaders at for profit corporations, entrepreneurs and investors and in her personal experience. Lynn, thank you so much for being with us.
Thank you so much for hosting me, right?
Roy Barker 01:17
Yeah, this is I, you know, I’m very excited to talk about this, this altruistic view. And it’s becoming much more prevalent, you know. As we talk about the employee side, and the investment side, and the consumer side is kind of like a triangle. But before we get off too far, tell us a little bit more about your story. I mean, how did you end up here? How did you, you know, what made you decide to just focus on writing this book from this perspective?
More About Lynn
Good question, good way to start, I guess, from the very beginning. So I have a very traditional business background. As you as you said. I started out my career as a corporate attorney. I went to Wharton, and then I worked in investment banking. So very much a business focus. You know, I’m, I help companies, I help tech startups raise public financing in the market. So I took companies such as Facebook public. But one day I was, you know, I thought to myself. We, we say, people, our most important asset.
But when I look at the rolls of financial statements. There is nowhere in there that we measure the impact of what we do. As a business, on people and planet. And so that kind of got me thinking, and started me on this journey. Really, to look at business in a different way. I love investment banking. Quite soon after that, and kind of explored. Explored different different careers. I started volunteering as well, and trying to find a cause and purpose that resonated with me. Long story short. This I am where I am today. I started ACTV8 Network after spending some time and years, you know. Helping to mentor girls into in technology and innovation and entrepreneurship. I started ACTV8 network.
And then with the book. I also wanted to share what I learned in all these years since I left investment banking. What is it that businesses can do to create a positive impact. Not just to consumers, and and for investors. Because I think investors are still always important. But also for their partner suppliers, and the community that they operate in. And of course, the planet. So there are multiple stakeholders that a business has. And traditionally.
If you look at business schools and business textbooks. It’s all about the shareholder is all about the investor is all about the bottom line. And making that and growing your profits year after year. It’s not I mean, your your investors go crazy. If you one year is it? Well, it’s not looking so good this year. You know, it’s always about growing it again and again. And so I this this whole my whole journey, in the last few years has really been thinking. Okay, this has been shifting, it’s like, what, what else? What else? How else should business be? Is there another way for businesses to be? Yeah,
Profitability and Social Responsibility
Roy Barker – Profitability and Social Responsibility – 04:24
Yeah, yeah. And I want to talk about the ACTV8 Network too, a little bit. But I kind of want to offer what you’re saying is, you know. I worked for a large public company back in the day, and we were a monopoly. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t a lot of competition, but then we had deregulation. And all of a sudden, you know, we were a smaller company that was public. And so we started living on the quarterly earnings cycle. Yeah.
And I was, you know. I was a young guy back then. And I didn’t understand a lot. But what I found is that we were making some terrible long-term decisions. Based on this next quarterly report, all we were doing was living from one quarter to the next. And we were spending, you know, we were saving $1, this quarter, only to spend $10, next quarter. And I don’t want to get off on a tangent, I want to try to stick to this topic. But I just read a list yesterday about 53. More like fast food and chain restaurants that are going out of business. That will probably be out of business, and one of them. Not going to mention there name and run them in the ground.
But it was just talking about, you know, trying to relate it to COVID and want to write the author and say. This isn’t related to COVID at all. It’s related to poor service to poor food to dirty restaurants. Everything but COVID. And so, you know, I guess I. As the guy that’s been on the ground, it’s like, the shareholders really understand the dynamics and what’s going on, you know, we’re just worried about that next quarterly report, but we forget all this other stuff that should go along with this business.
There’s many parts of that, that I want to pull on. And so going back where it was back in 1970. When Milton Friedman wrote an article on the New York Times. And he said, the social responsibility of business is to increase profits. And it kind of went from there. This is what we’re told in Business School. That’s what we’re told in our business textbooks. And everyone just focus on the bottom line. But then on top of that. Is what you’re saying there is the quarterly earnings. Like you have meetings with your investors every quarter. And you have to show them what what you estimate are. Where we’re at how far you are from them.
What are you going to do to meet the next quarter? And, and on top of that. There’s also other structural things such as executive compensation. It’s also tied to all this estimates, as well as financial returns. Thinking about your budget processes, everything is tied to just basically dollars and cents. I see that shifting a little bit. I’ve I’ve seen a couple of a couple of headline. That now they’re also starting to tie executive compensation to ESG. So environmental, social and governance metrics. So how, what are some of the governance measures that you’re setting up in your in your company? How What are you doing in terms of environmental impact?
Now, we’re not talking just keeping within, within the confines of the law, like not dumping your waste in the rivers, we’re talking like I using actually renewable energy, so thinking of it more creatively and in a regenerative way, in the economy that is now linked to executive compensation. So that’s one piece and to answer in terms of the quarterly earnings, Rose Macario. So I mentioned two companies. Well, I’ve mentioned a few companies. But in my book I mentioned Bruce MacArthur, who was leading Patagonia, as well as Paul Polman, who was leading Unilever. Both of them also oppose this this quarterly earnings thing.
Because what it means is, it’s leading to what you said earlier, being short term. And what and what I believe how we can do that is to start thinking, setting out the vision for the future. And this is it, this is how Paul Polman did it. It’s like this is I want to double, I want to double my financial, I want to double the business. But I also want to have environmental returns.
Now that means that I’m not going I might not be showing you the numbers that you’re looking for in the next quarter. But in like the five years, in 10 years, this is what I’m going to do. And while there are some, I can’t remember what the number is now, I think maybe the stock price fell by 10% or something the next day, but over the tenure of when he was CEO when Paul Polman was CEO of Unilever, I think the stock will increase by 180%.
So if you had stuck around, if you’re an investor that, you know, believe in what he was saying his vision, you would have got back your money. But there were also people was like, yeah, this is not for me. And it really depends on the type of investor that you are and what your investment horizon is, you would have left the next day. And we’re seeing the investment community also waking up and changing their perspective, the amount of assets on the management that went into impact investing.
So that’s private money, as well as in public funds, as let’s say ESG funds, as well, that doubled tripled in the last year, partly because of the things that we’re seeing related to climate change to inequality that people were speaking. Yeah. And investors are not just investors, right. They’re also people like, like us, with families who are consumers were members of community and they said, Well, okay, I also care about this. And it’s important in the long run, it’s better for business if we take care of the environment.
Roy Barker 10:06
Because if we don’t take care of the environment, our materials and supply chain is going to be affected down the road. So
Cost of Goods
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 10:14
yeah, you know, we can make that investment today and take care of the environment and do what we can, and we probably won’t have to pay such inflated prices for those goods, you know, further down the line. And I think that gets back to this long term approach that, you know, there’s all kinds of investors, some people want to get that, you know, they want the daily bump and get in and get out, which, you know, a lot of these announcements really affect, but then there’s also their people that they buy the stock, they want to hold it, you know, I guess, you know, as long as the fundamentals of it are good.
And so these are the, these are the dis good decisions that I think comes out of this long term play, is that, okay, let’s, we will sacrifice some earnings today to impact future earnings. So we can have, you know, a good longevity. But anyway, and I think, too, they’re also they’re caught in this triangle that, you know, they’re being squeezed by employees, because the, you know, people coming out of college today, basically, they’re demanding that what are we doing? How are you addressing my causes? We’ve got the investor groups that are like, I’m not investing or pulling investing. And then we’ve also got the consumers because consumers are, you know, voting with their dollars more on the issues that really reach to them.
Mm hmm, exactly. So it’s, and again, no one, none of us are sitting, sitting in one role, like, we’re not just consumers, we’re not just employees, we’re not just leaders and managers of a business, we are sometimes all of that remembers of community. And so we are realizing the impact that businesses have on on all of on all on all areas of our lives, on the community on the environment.
We want to make sure that there is a planet further down the road for our grandchildren for our great grandchildren. And and that, that that I think has really affected how us as consumers, like you say, we started voting for without wallets. The younger generation for sure, they’re so much more aware. I think, for me, anyone can be a leader. I like to refer to the example of going to the thunberg, you know, 15 years old, she was sitting outside the Swedish parliament, saying Enough is enough. What are you going to do about climate change? I think leadership for me is having an opinion or something, and really believing in it, having the courage to talk about it, and sharing it with others.
And so she had all of those elements. And she was persistent. You know, she was she she had the grit to continue to to share what she believed, which then started the Fridays for the for the future movement. And that, I think, also raised the awareness for that generation to say, yes, sustainability is an important thing. We need to take care of our planet, because otherwise there’s no, that won’t be later on for us. Yeah. And you know that i think it’s a good example, too, because a lot of times, we’ll let’s say, when we vote here in the US, we feel like, I’m not taking the time to go vote today.
Can I Make A Difference
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 13:37
I’m just one person, how can I really make a difference? And I think that she showed, you know, when you take that stand, and something that you really believe in one person can have a pretty big impact on things. Mm hmm.
Yeah. Collectively, it starts with one person standing up, and then another person stands up. And then pretty soon we have a movement. If we go back way back in, way back in the 60s, for instance, we’re talking about racial inequality. It just started with one person saying, No, I’m going to stand up for what I believe is correct. And that’s, we live in a very different world today. And that wasn’t so long ago.
What Challanges Do We Face
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 14:13
Now. So what are some challenges that companies today face? I mean, we talked a little bit of probably about messaging and making investors understand what is our long term plan? How is it a benefit to the environment to the social impacts, things like that, and but are there other challenges besides that messaging?
Yes, I think there there are many challenges. But perhaps the end it all stems from, you know, everything around it, the structure, the mindset, the processes, has been focused around. Business is in the responsibility, it has the responsibility to increase profits. Full stop. And that’s that’s kind of it right? We just stop there. Sure. Like, if you don’t break the law, you increase profits, you’re all good. And, and because of that, now, there needs to be a big mindset shift to say, No, we are now we want to focus on purpose, and we want to create a positive impact. I think once you have that mindset in within the company, within the business in the leadership and as well as on the ground, then culture starts to shift, your values might shift a little bit.
And then your processes will your while you first your strategy, change your culture, then your strategy, then your processes and your systems change. Because you can’t just go out and change, let’s say, how you allocate budgets, how you want to out whether you’re allocating to, whether you’re allocating to training and development for, for your employees, or you’re going to invest in renewable energy, I think it starts first from understanding yourself from being mindful and intentional, and knowing what your purpose is, what are the values that drive you. Once you have that, that, that moves into your the, that moves into your culture, when you’re when it goes into your culture, the strategy develops like the Alright, this is, this is where I can play this is this is this is my feel feel of play.
This is where I want to affect change, and everything else, I believe flows after that. You might invest in different systems. You will change your processes, your budget systems might reflect more in terms of investment horizon. That you’re thinking that. And then of course, the communication also changes you might meet with your investors even more frequently than than where you are right now. Because you’re telling them look, you will be saying, This is how I am investing in the research and innovation to improve on the regeneration of energy for the business for the supply chain, you might not be talking about earnings estimates.
But you might be saying, This is how this is what we’re doing. Will you join us? How is it that you can help and play? I think that that starts with that mindset, because now you are wanting to bring people along, when you realize you’re creating a positive, we want to create a positive impact, you can’t help but want to share that message with everyone else and bring others along with your journey. So that’s how I see that you
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 17:27
might actually end up meeting your investors more frequently than on a quarterly basis, which is not a bad thing, because you can keep them up to I think information is always powerful. So as as an investor, the more feedback I get from you, the more comfortable I feel versus if you disappear. Or if I don’t hear from you all quarter, maybe I start getting a little nervous. What’s going on? I think that’s always a good idea.
The I guess the other question is, there’s so many different aspects to environmental social, that. So who how do you how would you advise a company to make that decision? I mean, is it? Is it the CEOs passion? Does he? Does he want to do a survey of the employees and say, we’re fixing to do you know, make some changes? What are some of your causes? Do you talk with investors? Or? I mean, I guess you probably in an ideal world, you would get some ideas from all of these groups?
Yeah, I think that’s a really good question as well. I think what what you’re what you said is, is one of the ways in which we could do that, the one of the, one of the people, one of the persons that I interviewed for my book is Bill Simpson, he, he was the CEO of Hershey entertainment. So, you know, going back to what I said before, if you focus the team on the purpose of the business, then that is how you can engage with them and get them to bring their best selves to work.
What he did was he brought some of his top managers in a room and he asked them he went through the five why’s exercise, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but basically it’s like, why why do we want to grow the business? And he says, and he asked why five times and each of them gets to the point well, well, we want to help the Milton Hershey School and that’s a school for underprivileged children that Milton Hershey. That the founder started way back way back when when the company was when Hershey confectionery was was born.
So that has just continued it’s it’s it’s a free school for underprivileged children and helps them give a you know, gives them an opportunity for education for four different career paths and in the future. And and so what he did was he he asked him, he got them all in a miraculous he came up with the same answer while we is Because we want to help these children who are in a community, and this school is actually in view, if you’ve ever been to Hershey town, it smells of chocolate and the school is actually a fantastic magical place.
And the school is actually in that community. So, um, I mean, they could have, like you said, focus on the environment, focus on governance, focus on inequality, the water, clean oceans, all these kinds of things. But I guess going back to what is important to them, and what they are good at what what is closest to them, I guess, it could be what what their strengths are right. And this is something they’ve they’ve worked on, and it’s very close to, to the team. And so this is, this was the purpose. I can give another example, as well, in terms of in terms of purpose. Hubert jolien, was the CEO that was brought in to turn around Best Buy, if you remember, a number of years ago, I think was 2012.
Amazon was knocking at the gates and Best Buy was beating money losing a lot of sales. Analysts that shut the stores firing people and call it a day. Of course, you But Joe Lee comes in and says no, this, any people related expense. That will be a last resort. And what he did was he basically he focus the people on their purpose. And the purpose is, and enabling, enriching the lives of others through technology. That was the purpose that day they came up with, and how that translated from, you know, from again.
From the purpose into the strategy was there his team then took that took that took that purpose, and interpreted it and say, well, we want to help the elderly community in, in the elderly, in our community, we want them to help, we want to help them live longer, and more independently, and in a safer way. So what that resulted in was, they, of course, all a lot more connected devices, things like Google Home, and Alexa, there were more notification at biases, so that if anything would happen, the authorities would warn, would be worn and help with come help with come their way.
There was also mobility, you know, support technology, everything that would help the elderly in the community to and the vulnerable to be able to live on their own more independently and for longer. So that, you know, that’s how purpose actually translates into into strategy and even found them a new, I guess, target niche consumer group that they were not necessarily focused on before. All of a sudden, that, you know, when they like focus on the purpose, they found their, their niche they found, they found where they could, they could really create a positive impact. And the other side of that story, is remember, I said, Amazon was knocking at their doors.
You and so what he did was, traditionally, what people would do is, competitors in the same field will be fighting, they will invest a lot of money, throw a lot of money, basically to kill the competition. Instead, he said, Hey, you know, we have physical stores, you’re basically online, Amazon, why don’t we work together, you have a bunch of devices that would help our customer. So why don’t you we help you sell it in our stores.
And that basically helped the two of them instead of, again, wasting resources to kill the competition. They made one plus one equals three. And so they grew the business. And they were, you know, they, yeah, they collaborated, essentially, which is the other part of altruistic capitalist mindset. When you collaborate with others in your industry or adjacent industries. I think that’s another way where you can create a positive impact for the environment and
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 24:10
For communities. Yeah, well, first off, I was gonna say maybe the best way I can help my mother with her remote, she seems to have a lot of trouble keeping that thing working. So I may send her that we, you know, unfortunately, in business, we take that view of there, it’s a zero sum game, and in most places, there is enough out there for all of us to be winners that we should, especially when we talk about smaller companies, but even with the large ones, you know, we can work together in ways to actually like you said.
Make one plus one equal three, not have, you know, a duel to the death where, in some instances, you know, both companies end up being hurt dramatically. But yeah, there is absolutely no need to do all to the depth. Exactly, exactly. Because that done, you know, because consumers get a, they get tired of hearing those messaging as well, instead of thinking about these partnerships, and how they can help each other, as you know, and I think that’s also too good that you know, the, that we help the different groups, there’s so much there’s so much need out there. And, you know, if we just have an open mind as businesses about where we can serve our community, we really can’t, you know, if we do it correctly, we can’t go wrong with that messaging,
right. And maybe, to add to that, maybe if we also collaborate and partner with people within our industry on common problems, so for instance, fashion companies that work together to find a way in which to recycle to use recycled fabrics, or to develop new materials in which there is less need to use virgin material, because everyone has that same problem, reducing waste, reducing landfills, reducing the clothes that we dump in our landfill. So there there is a fashion Alliance, where fashion companies get together and talk about these problems. So you’re united in the common enemy, which is, which is climate change. Right?
How To Scale
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 26:16
Right. So how do we scale these activities? Because, you know, I’m just telling you my opinion, as, as the CEO, we’ve come up with this great mission or a good community that we can serve. But then how do we try to decide, you know, how many, how many, how much resources and that could be money, cash direct, and be, you know, there’s a lot of instances today, which I’m in favor of is giving employees so much time, you know, to four hours a month, to go out and serve in something that they feel that that’s really their passion? So how do we kind of walk the line between trying to scale these activities, but yet, you know, being mindful, we have a business to run? And we do actually turn a profit.
Yes. Very, very, very good question. I think, important to always remember, in doing good, we still need to make money, because you cannot, you cannot create a positive impact unless you’ve maintained financial discipline. So I’m very grateful for my business background, I understand the things that you need to do in order to be financially responsible, because let’s not forget about that, if you’re not financially responsible, you don’t have a well run business, and you cannot then make the changes and scale the solutions that you’re talking about. Right. And I think one way in terms of scaling your solutions, and the impact that you’re doing is to have collaborations to have partnerships with others in adjacent industries.
And sure, because we all have complementary assets and skills that we are not all good in one thing, but if we share what we’re good at and find complementary partners, I think that can really help scale the impact that we have, and find people who have the same values who want to solve the same problem. That for me is one way and and to be open about it to be vulnerable. And, and I’d say this is what I want you to do. And that goes the same for partners for people we collaborate with, and also with employees, like this is the problem that we want to solve. This is what we have, how can we do it? Yeah, and leave it to that? No, I
Contact With An Expert
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 28:32
think that’s a good point. We don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. There’s other organizations that are very good at doing whatever they do that we find a way that we can support them, you know, to further their mission, as well.
Yeah, yeah. So there, I mean, going, going back to also being mindful to let go of that ego to wanting to put your name on everything, because every collaborate I mean, we’re thinking about the impact that that that we have, that we could have if we collaborate. So instead of wanting Yeah, I want my name on this, and this and this, and I’m just keeping everything to myself, what could you achieve if you let that ego go? Yeah.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 29:16
So you talk about the other thing that you talk about a little bit is grit. And, you know, I love that there was a good book not long ago written about you know, it was basically on how we look at people is, you know, they have good skills, this tap, but sometimes it’s that third component of grit, of just finding a way to grind it out finding that way to be successful above you know, all other things. So talk a little bit about that in the purpose driven business model.
So um, Grit, as Angela Duckworth, define it in a book grit is passion plus perseverance. And I see if you start off with your purpose and being mindful And then you are focused on the one thing instead of, I’ve got like these 10 things that I wanted to look at, you know what, what your, so you already have your target, you have your goal you have, you know what you’re going to focus on. And then the perseverance part, I see. I described that as as being like the athlete.
And even if even if you’re not in a team sport, even if you’re a runner, or you’re a marathon runner or something, how you built perseverance is by training with others. And taking that to the business world. If we build partnerships and Coalition’s with others, this helps us see, hey, the problem is not so big after all, because we have all these other people working on it with us. And of course, then you share knowledge, give each other feedback. And it’s the same in sports, working with others that helps both of you get to your destination get to your end goal quicker.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 30:55
About ACTV8 Network
Yeah. Yeah, I really liked that. And thank you for mentioning her name. I just love that book. Because it’s a concept that, you know, unfortunately, we don’t look at we try, we tend to look at what’s tangible, on piece of paper, but then there’s always this grip factor that it means the difference between success and failure a lot of times mm hmm, exactly starts with a mind. mindset. Exactly. Well, let’s transition and talk about active eight for just a minute. Tell us a little bit about the importance of increasing women in technology and entrepreneurship.
So how activate networks started was I, you know, I was very much involved in technology startups, I would go to different conferences and different events. Oftentimes, I would be one of the few women standing in the room. And that’s the same when I’m, you know, in conversations about innovation and technology, I find myself like the lone voice. And it was sometimes uncomfortable. I so I would sometimes silence myself. And, you know, I wanted to change that I wanted to shift that.
And kind of, I wanted to have more women involved in that conversation, because there is a half the population that we’re not listening to, and think about the diversity of opinions that we have that could result in better products. What I mean, this is another mindset that I talked about, in my book, be curious, ask questions, what are the assumptions behind what we’re saying? So that’s the same with with increasing diversity, if we ask questions, if we include the other in, in our conversations and our problems, we in our global issues, we will be able to come up with better, better solutions.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 32:58
That’s a common problem that I see in businesses is that you know, what we call a homogeneous group. It turns into groupthink, which can turn us down the wrong path. That’s why, you know, diversity is so important, because we need everybody’s viewpoint to make our product or service better. You know, we can’t segregate that and say, well, it’s just, you know, this one brain trust over here, they’ve got all the answers we need to get, what is your thoughts and feelings on the way that we deliver a service or how you use our product? So many questions that we need to be asking to a diverse group.
Yeah, because if you also create a product by a certain group, you’re only selling to that group, you’re missing out on this whole other group that you could be selling to, right. Oh, why not make something that is inclusive for everybody?
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 33:53
Right? Yeah. I, you know, I find my life is my partner, Terry, you know, my find my life is better when I get when I fall in line, and do I think that’s a message that we can spread that, you know, women come from a different place. And, you know, usually it’s that nurturing, caring side. So, you know, we need that, especially when we talk about the altruistic capitalist point of view, is, you know, we can’t just always be income statements and balance sheets and just script concise business all the time. I mean, we have to think about these other things. And what better way to do that.
Yeah, we can stare at the bottom line the whole time. And the good thing is, I believe that and the next my prediction is that will change in the next two or three years, where it becomes mandatory reporting to report on your diversity metrics. What are you doing in terms of investing in people in the community? What are you doing in terms of regenerating the economy, redistributing the The the resources around you, what are you doing in terms of governance? How is it that you’re running or managing governing the your business? So I think these are good things that are coming down the pipeline, I predict, and I hope, which which will really shift the way in which business businesses are on?
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 35:20
Yeah, and we’re definitely going to advocate that message. I think it’s only that we can only better ourselves, our local environment, and you know, the world in general, we can only make it better by implementing these things. One thing I will ask how do we, how do we measure the change or the success? And I guess, you know, there are metrics that will be set out before people invest capital, you know, dollars or human capital, but also as an investor, a company tells me they’re, you know, doing this certain thing, how it How can I be sure that they are actually doing it and that it actually is making a difference? I’m?
Very, very deep question. Yeah. And I think there are a couple of layers to that. I think, in terms of knowing the impact that a company’s making the the stakeholder capitalism metrics that the World Economic Forum proposed way back in, in September of 2020. I think what that does for investors, the investor community in general, it aligns the deadlines, the impact for across company, so it becomes like gap reporting, or IFRS type reporting, where it’s standardized. And so I can see I can compare apples to apples, across businesses and across industries.
So that’s one thing. And the second thing, I think, with investors, how would they really know, I think, is to want to have these conversations regularly instead of, you know, show me your report card on a quarterly basis. It’s like, tell me, what is it that you’re doing? How are you seeing that shifting? So having more authentic and real conversations about the long term, and what they’re doing right now, with, with the management instead of just saying, hey, ah, show me your report? Did you meet the estimates that you told me last quarter.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 37:24
And we can also get involved? I mean, there’s all kinds of ways that we can get involved with companies, even if we don’t work for them to help on these different missions that they’re on. And I don’t want to speak at a term. But I think that there are actually some investment managers that they look at maybe a social or environmental issue, and they invest to that. So I mean, that’s a good way to help is to have professionals that are kind of looking down over that if you’re really concerned about that. Profitability and Social Responsibility
Yeah. Larry Fink actually is very big on the impact investing on a on environmental, social and governance type investing.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility38:05
Okay, cool. All right, Lynn. Well, thank you so much for your time. It’s been wonderful speaking with you, this is a great message, not only the Activate, you know, getting more women participation in technology and entrepreneurship, but also on the altruism capitalist, capitalist, you know, investments in what is it? environmental, social, and governance changes that can help the world around us, the people around us, the employees within the company?
So much great. It’s a good start. And I think that there’s a lot like I said, it’s kind of like this triangle where companies are getting a lot of pressure from employees, investors, and consumers that maybe we can make some big changes in the years to come. That would be great. I hope so. Definitely. All right. Well, before we get away, do you have a habit? Or is there a tool that you use daily in your professional or personal life that you just can’t do without?
Hmm, I, I have a few habits, particularly in the morning, I like to start off with, I will share one in particular, and that is journaling. I write every morning. I think that really helps me to be more mindful and also to reflect on what is important to me. It because it all starts I believe everything starts with a mindset. And the structure that I have with my journal is what what have I learned? What would I like to learn or experiment with?
And so one of the things that I’m trying to what I’m experimenting with right now is intermittent fasting, for instance. And the other thing is, what are my triggers? What is it that comes back? So for instance, even with my book, it came back different times. I didn’t just wake up a year ago and say, and said, Okay, I’m going to write a book right now. It was actually multiple seeds that were planted over the years like, hey, like, why did you write a book and then, and one of them just just before I finally pulled the trigger and said, Okay, I’m gonna write a book was a friend of mine said, hey, I’ve got a publisher for you.
Do you want to talk to the publisher or not? So, yeah, so those are, those are the three questions that I, I write in my journal everyday or reflect on in my journal. But what is it I’ve learned? What is it I would like to learn? And what are the triggers that keep reoccurring? Interesting?
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 40:36
Oh, you know, I journal I’ve been, I’ve tried for years, but I kind of like on and off. But this, you know, the last six or eight months, I’ve been pretty well on and so but I think that’s a good point to have that structure, you know, something to write to every day that will be of benefit. And the other question I’d asked to, like, how do you feel like journaling helped you to write the book, you know, writing every day, because I’ve heard, you know, writing is just like a muscle that we have to exercise and you have to build it up? And so you know, writing in a journal every day? Did that really? Did it make it easier for you when you started putting the book together?
fair question. I don’t think that I don’t think journaling. journaling helped me necessarily, I think is, in part, me setting aside time and saying, alright, I’m going to have time to reflect and meditate daily. That’s like, 15 minutes for journaling. What I did with no similar thing with with my writing process, I set aside every Sunday, so you would, would have been very hard to reach me in that period.
And that in that year, when I was writing the book to contact me on Sundays, because that was my writing day, I would do all my research and all my interviews and calls and meetings during the week. Then on the Sunday, it was when I synthesize everything, when I process everything, and I put it out in in a written form. That’s and that was my process, you couldn’t get me on a Sunday, it helped that it was COVID as well. Profitability and Social Responsibility
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 42:19
Because there’s so many people that have so much great information, want to get their ideas out, but it’s that no, that blank page can be an antagonist for sure. And then also, I think that’s good setting aside the time, you know, I just encourage everybody to really get your message out there, you know, you can take that time to really put it down, because that’s how we learn. I mean, you know, I think this is a great, a great movement that you’re talking about here that doesn’t get a lot of press, you know, we hear more and more about it.
But the more people that write about and talk about it, the better off we are for a lot of things. So yeah, well tell everybody, how can they reach out? How can they get involved? or How can they reach the active eight network? And then also, how can they reach out and get a copy of the book or get out, reach out and talk to you?
Well, people can write to me at Lynn@altruisticcapitalist.com and write me and I’ll send you a signed copy. And then that you can also reach me there of course to talk about ACTV8 Network. And the same if you would like to keep up on us as I continue to research and talk talk about the topic. So again, altruisticcapitalist.com is a website and you can email me at Lynn@altruisticcapitalist.com.
Roy Barker Profitability and Social Responsibility 43:38
All right, awesome, Lynn. Well,thank you so much for your time. We certainly appreciate it. And I will ask you to, you know, keep up come back on give us some updates as you work through this process. We certainly appreciate that. I love to thank you so much, Roy. Okay, you bet. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course I am your host Roy.
You can find us at thebusinessofbusinesspodcast.com. We are on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, for not a one that you listened to please reach out we’d be glad to get that added. Make your listening easier. We are on all the major social media networks probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more than other places. And a video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live. So go over to our YouTube channel. Profitability and Social Responsibility. Check that out. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.