Earlier today we found an article that our Group President and CEO, James Chalmers shared on Linkedin. While it was not written for our formal blog, we wanted to share it (with his permission of course) because we believe it gives a great glimpse into one of our founding partners. What motivates him? What are some key professional milestones during his tenure? What’s next?
There is a lot of talk about purpose in business these days. Is it a bolt-on program or is it be baked into an organizations DNA? There are a whole host of reasons why organizations should invest in purpose but at the end of the day it needs to be authentic and meaningful in order to have the greatest impact.
It is no secret that I have gone all-in on purpose. For me, it started as a personal decision as my wife and I contemplated what our respective and shared legacy would be following the passing of her youngest sister. 5, 10, 20, 50 years after we leave this world, what will we be remembered for? Would our legacy be limited to having a positive, lasting impact on our families or could our impact go well beyond that?
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
As part of this “Impact Journey” there are been 4 major milestones for us to date which I am sharing as part of a Choice Point we are currently working through.
Our 5% Pledge: One of the earliest steps we took as part of this “Impact Journey” was committing 5% of our total sales annually to supporting cause and purpose initiatives through complimentary services and investments in organizations that are having a positive impact themselves and who are doing important work in their communities. As you are growing a company, a 5% pledge is not insignificant. In fact, sometimes it can feel like a monumental challenge. How do we ensure we are not only delivering funds? Our expertise across brand, cause, property and SME divisions means we have a unique opportunity to leverage an investment in time to have significantly more impact for both the short and long term. The gift that keeps on giving. Share experience, train, build tools and infrastructure so that organizations benefit through a long tail of impact and leverage our investment into much larger revenue opportunities for their organizations.
B Corporation Certification: As a for-profit business, we wanted to ensure that we were formally measuring our success by more than just our profit. When looking at what authentically mattered most to us, it came down to People, Purpose and Profit. We realized that we had a deep desire to positively impact the lives of our teams and client partners, to do work that mattered and had meaningful, measurable impact for causes that mattered to each team member and to run a profitable business so we could continue leveraging that success year over year and continuously keep growing the impact we are able to have. Our B Corp Certification is a public statement that we care to be measured by our impact on each of those three pillars. Is it working? Well, 2018 saw us as a global Best For The World Nominee in the Workers’ category. We could not have been more delighted to earn this recognition as a team and hope to repeat in 2019. As for the other two pillars, I can say that our teams get to lead some game changing initiatives with our clients and our 5% pledge keeps growing year over year, so the third pillar is delivering results as well.
The Work We Do: As we have refined and formalized our products, tools, services, seminars and training offering over the years, it has become increasingly about building the foundation and capacity for brands and SMEs to leverage and capitalize on purpose commitments and investments. For our cause and property clients is about ensuring they are ready and capable of supporting these cause partnerships while making the case for continued growth in these partnerships. Leading the way in this area of work is our LightHouse™ CSR. Our proprietary solution to integrate purpose into every aspect of your organization and support change management to ensure corporate social responsibility (CSR) delivers on organizational objectives for Brands, Causes and SMEs. While this solution is 100% centered around purpose and purpose integration, our CornerStone™ Marketing and PeriScope™ Business solutions both also introduce purpose elements as part of overall marketing and business strategy.
Our Investment Portfolio: The 4th quarter of 2018 was quite tough on equity markets around the world. While we were not left unscathed from the down turn, I found myself realizing that we were not as hard hit as many of those we talked to. With a little further investigation we realized that many of the companies we gravitated towards as healthy investment opportunities in a growing market, also represented investments that weathered the 4th quarter storm better and have subsequently rebounded through the 1st quarter of 2019 and continue to see positive growth in this early part of the 2nd quarter. Further research has shown that purpose led Fortune 500’s have been outperforming the S&P 500 by 300% to 400% over the past 10 years. There is enough data and research to prove this is not an anomaly or limited to a single investment portfolio. As a result, the core pillar of our investment strategy has now become investments in companies who identify purpose in their mission and vision statements and backing up that commitment to purpose with daily decisions that indicate how these companies are operating.
So here we are today contemplating another choice point. As I have often said in our business at TACK10 Strategy, clients seek our services when they are at a choice point themselves. Whether it is a taking advantage of a new opportunity, looking for growth or assessing the situation and then choosing to hold course, at the end of the day, they are in a position where choices need to be made. For us, this choice point is related to where we are going next in our impact journey. Do we continue looking for new opportunities to provide impact, do we create a new channel ourselves or do we hold course and ensure we are having the most impact we can within the ecosystem we have cultivated to date?