The Clean and Green Club, December 2016

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, December 2016
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Making the Business Case on Climate Change to Trump
Last month, I mentioned that I wrote to Trump and made a business case for continuing to honor Paris. You can read my open letter on GreenBiz.com, https:/www.greenbiz.com/article/making-business-case-climate-change-trump . Interestingly, I read recently that Leonardo DiCaprio had given Trump and his daughter copies of his video on climate change, which I believe makes a similar case.
This Month’s Tip: 10 Reasons to Build Social Responsibility into Your Business

When I’m interviewed, I find that most reporters and radio hosts have this idea that creating a socially response business is onerous. They think it adds costs, complexities and headaches—and many of them wonder why anyone would go through the “bother.”

Well, they got one part right. It does add a layer of complexity. But if you do it right, social entrepreneurship creates so many benefits! Consider a few of them:

  1. You generate consumer loyalty; customers feel good about supporting socially/environmentally responsible businesses, and are even willing to pay higher prices.
  2. Customers become allies in both product development and problem resolution.
  3. You create deep loyalty among your employees; they’re happy to go to work each day, and they brag about working at your firm. This improves productivity and employee retention. And that employee loyalty reduces training and onboarding costs; it even creates a pipeline to find new employees among your current employees’ friends and family.
  4. Customers, employees, suppliers, and distributors do some of your marketing for you.
  5. You’ll have an easier time raising capital. Your options will expand beyond traditional investors and banks to crowdsourcing. Consider entrepreneurial platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, and Barnraiser—as well as sites dedicated to social change and environmental crowdfunding, such as https://startsomegood.com/ or https://www.ioby.org/ . You can also attract corporate sponsors and even grants.
  6. It’ll be much easier to find joint venture partnerships that leverage more than one organization’s skills for the benefit of all.
  7. As you start to go public about your social response efforts, you’ll be asked to share best practices as a speaker and/or writer (which have lots of benefits of their own).
  8. Media will be happy to tell your story—and you don’t have to pay to get that exposure.
  9. If you do screw up, you’ll have more latitude while you make it right.
  10. You lower both the risk and the weight of negative consequences from boycotts to lawsuits.

Isn’t all that worth some extra complexity?

Next month: How to Choose the Right Social Responsibility Path for Your Particular Business. And meanwhile, wishing you a very happy holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate.

Hear and Meet Shel
Master marketer Willie Crawford interviews Shel Thursday, January 26 (rescheduled from December 1). And he will take questions live on the air. Watch next month’s newsletter for listening instructions.

Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29, I think I will be attending the Ethical Corporation conference in New York City, and moderating at least one session. Details not firmed up as of press time.

Order your copy of Shel’s newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

Learn how the business world can profit while solving hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change (hint: they’re all based in resource conflicts). Endorsed by Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield, business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin, and many others. Find out more and order from several major booksellers (or get autographed and inscribed copies directly from me). http://goingbeyondsustainability.com/guerrilla-marketing-to-heal-the-world/
 
Download a free sampler with several excerpts, the complete Table of Contents and Index, and all the endorsements.
Another Recommended BookPower and Love
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Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change by Adam Kahane (Berrett-Koehler, 2010)

I’ve been working for social and environmental change since 1969. That’s even longer than my time in marketing, which started in 1972. Back then, what I was marketing was my views on social issues, especially the Vietnam War.

During my early times of active organizing, I would have found this book incredible helpful. Much later, without knowing it, I used Kahane’s model in the most successful organizing I’ve ever been involved with: Save the Mountain, in my own town of Hadley, Massachusetts, US.

Kahane traces the evolution of his thinking through his direct involvement in all sorts of global struggles, from rebuilding South Africa after the end of apartheid to looking for peaceful solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to helping Guatemala and Colombia emerge from totalitarianism. Serious struggles, in other words. And he acknowledges that he did many things wrong before he discovered his key insight:

Power and love are the yin and yang of organizing. Neither one is        effective without its “opposite.” Either one by itself will        eventually evolve from a generative, positive focus at the start to        a degenerative, socially hostile outcome—but together, they help        us achieve great things.

You can look at this through an Eastern Taoist lens, as I did just now. But you can also frame it as a Germanic Hegelian or Marxian dialectic: power and love are the thesis and antithesis; their synthesis is positive social change. A third lens is one I learned studying comedy improv about ten years ago: replace either-or with both-and.

Whichever lens you look through, the combination of power and love is very effective. They balance each other, keep each other in check, and maintain a generative focus. And we need this kind of holistic approach to move forward.

Martin Luther King defined power as the ability to achieve a purpose (p. 12). Unchecked by love, power-to (positive, change-oriented) devolves into power-over (oppressive, protective of inequality). Paul Tillich notes (p. 46) that power-to destroys oppressive institutions, but power-over destroys people—sometimes in ways that are hard to see. Kahane says that his own wife, a South African and veteran of the struggle there, would rather deal with overt than covert racism (p. 48). But when love comes in to bring power into balance, you can achieve power-with, and real unity (p. 138). And that’s when things start to move forward.

Love can morph in similar ways. Validation of another can crumble into a stifling forced unity/false consensus (p. 49, p. 65, p. 92) or a state of mind that feels good but can’t change anything. But combining awareness of power relationships leads to a multipartisan (NOT bipartisan) approach (p. 118) that recognizes the need to collaborate with opponents—and you don’t have to like them in order to love them (p. 31).

Kahane suggests inquiring specifically about the power and love in any situation, and poses ten questions to determine who brings what into the mix (p. 73).

Although I took four pages of notes, I’m keeping this review short and deliberately omitting many of Kahane’s key points. Why? Because if you’re doing social change, or running a social change business, you will get far more out of Kahane’s ideas and experiences by spending a few hours with the book, and I want you to be able to apply the many powerful lessons I haven’t even touched upon.

But here’s a really good offer for you: I actually typed out my notes (something I almost never do) and if you read the book, I’ll share with you. Email me a receipt that shows you bought the book or a photo that shows you got it out of the library and I’ll send my notes so you get more value out of your reading.

Recent Interviews & Guest Articles: 

Shel’s done 16 podcasts recently, ranging from 5 minutes to a full hour. Click here to see descriptions and replay links.
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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of ten books…international speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His award-winning 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet was a category bestseller for at least 34 months (and is now available exclusively through Shel). Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.
He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).
“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”
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