Web Design Company Gets Business Benefit from Giving Back

Tim Frick, president of Mightybytes, a Chicago-based web development firm, got fed up. After weeks of watching footage of oil-soaked pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP spill,  he had to do something. He rode his bike.

Tim Frick on Climate Ride

Tim Frick in the redwoods during Climate Ride

“When you are angry, take it out on your legs,” he told his audience at Business4Better.

Frick joined ClimateRide on a multi-day ride from Ventura, Calif. to San Francisco. A lucky case of bronchitis slowed him down, and he ended up getting a behind the scenes look at the organization from the “sag wagon.” A love affair was born. Continue reading

8 Essential Steps of Starting an Employee Volunteer Program

Employee volunteering programs are increasingly the “heartbeat” of where social innovation is happening to improve business and impact communities. At the Business4Business (B4B) Conference, executives from Alcoa, BJs Restaurants, and Edwards Life Sciences shared their knowledge on starting and delivering impactful employee volunteer programs, organized around 8 steps. The session was moderated by CEO of OneOC, Dan McQuaid.

After listening carefully to this lively 45 minute discussion, it is clear there is no single way to go about starting and managing an employee volunteer program. However, there are core steps executives can take. Here is eight as shared in the Business4Better session. Continue reading

Midsize Businesses: Follow Your True North and Grow

Reconciling a balance sheet or analyzing data for the next great product is not the only metric that drives the success of great companies. Rather the secret sauce has to do with empathy for the world around you.

It is not just business for better, it is better for business, says Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates and author of Wired to Care who opened up the Business4Better show here in Anaheim.

He implored businesses to reconnect with their humanity and gave examples of companies that are doing this today. “When we are fact-based and living our lives with PowerPoint data, we are only bringing in a part of our brains every day to work, says Patnaik. “You have to have that connection and get out beyond your walls and spend the time in the real world.” Continue reading

Shared value: Going beyond traditional CSR

Corporate social responsibility has come a long way from the days of handing out checks and doing good. It’s even gone beyond strategic CSR, in which businesses try to do more than donate money. Today, many companies are shifting to the concept of “shared value.”

This new phase was the focus of a panel discussion here at B4B led by Lalitha Vaidyanathan, managing director of FSG. “Corporate responsibility of the future needs to come from the core business,” she told the audience. “You’re creating social good while creating economic value for the business.”

Adam Lowry, Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Christopher Lloyd

Shared value requires approaching business in a much different way, she said. Corporate philanthropy still has a role, but companies need to think if there are bigger, more scalable ways for them to create social change. Both large and midsize companies can participate, she said. Continue reading