Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Value of Discussion

We just had our first advisory board meeting to discuss the new Greater Good Alliance initiative last night. Let me first thank all those in attendance for your incredible insights and contributions. What seems so clear-cut to someone building a system may be completely unintelligible to anyone else not involved in its creation. We plan to take many of your contributions to heart as we continue to build the model and get closer to a formal launch. (Hey, you can pre-register now to stay in the loop!)

It does bring up a great point, however. Do we communicate enough? And, if so, are we communicating the right information? The reason many great ideas fail to transpire is due to poor planning. I'll be the first to admit we have made some silly mistakes in this company's growth that could likely have been avoided by seriously talking with others. Namely, those who have already made that mistake! I'm fine with making a mistake no one has encountered before, but to commit a common "oops"? That's just a waste of all of our time, and can potentially affect our bottom line, our clients, and the overall success of a program.

If you're looking to a new business strategy, or even a new business, make sure to communicate. Discuss your hopes, worries, and goals with trusted business and personal companions. You might be surprised by what they have to contribute! Don't be afraid to receive criticism, in fact, encourage others to dish it! Keep one "downer" in the group, and I don't mean a boring person, but rather, the one who is so down to earth that they are looking for the potential cracks or failures in your plan.

Doing this will save you enormous amounts of time and money later on. It very well could accelerate your success, and allow you to help those your plan originally intended!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hope for the Many

Feel as if you are the only person working for the benefit of the planet or community? It's ok. You're not alone. This past weekend, I found some time to get a bit of reading done. Part of it was incredibly depressing (though immensely informative) - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

If you haven't had an opportunity to read this book, please do. Considered by many to be the impetus for the modern environmental movement, it blasted apart perceptions on the use of insecticides, pesticides, and other chemical forms of "shaping" Nature to our preferred design. The sad part is that very little has changed today, 50 years later. What happens from now on is partially up to you.

That, as I mentioned, was only part of my reading. Other materials were focused on societal and environmental solutions, some on the horizon, some even being implemented as we speak. At universities, among non-profits, in businesses, even in certain governments, great ideas are being shared. Unique approaches going far beyond lightbulbs and recycling change how we will look at efficiency, society, and going green.

So in a world perpetuating the idea of doom and gloom, know there are others like you, who want to make things better. Please don't get discouraged, and contact me if you are looking to connect with, well, whomever your ideas require.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take Account of Your Efforts

Yesterday, while in a meeting with a financial advisor, a thought came to mind: "When dealing with cash, future outlay, retirement savings, and other issues, we develop a detailed plan, with visible steps along the way. But is that often done when implementing a sustainability program?"

Perhaps due to how it has evolved, "green", or as we like to approach it, "sustainability" (Green is normally just environmental, while sustainability considers a societal and financial aspect as well), is often seen as a side-project. It's something supported by a number of employees or volunteers, but usually stays on the outside.

Would you structure your 401(k)s or customer relations programs as, "a nice addition"?

No way! They are essential to your personal and professional well-being. Well, so is your sustainability program.

Think about it: What are the goals of "going green"? Sure, reducing your environmental footprint, educating others within and outside the company, and being better community stewards are all good results. But the goals are different. You're aiming to measurably reduce expenses, improve your marketing image, and decrease risk by having a comprehensive plan for any potential issues.

All members of our Approved Green Business Program (soon to be members of our Greater Good Alliance, but more about that later) receive a Sustainability Plan in which to implement within their own business. Separated into three phases - Planning, Action, Marketing, it allows a company to make their time count when implementing their environmental policies. Each item within has a timeframe to seek its completion, so they can stay on track.

Some examples:
Phase I:
  • Build a Green Team
  • Audit existing stock
  • Collect utility bills

Phase II:
  • Assess supply chain (Purchasing & Production)
  • Employee habits

Phase III:
  • Press releases
  • Company dispatch
  • Ongoing consultation

So, next time you look to make your business more sustainable, be sure to have a plan! Questions and comments can be directed to Joseph Winn at GreenProfit Solutions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We're Back!

Wow. Looking at the history, and it has been a year and a half since the last update!

During that time, we have evolved significantly as a company, and, modified slightly how we approach the online media outlets. As you may know, we have an active Twitter feed @greenprofitsol as well as a Facebook Page - you're encouraged to follow and Like us today!

Much of our communication has been directed through these outlets, given the propensity of the online public to be focused on quick posts, short stories, and "catchy" statements in under 140 characters. However, we recognize that there is also a large population eager to read full blog posts, and who are we to disappoint!

Our blog will return, but in a slightly different form. First, most previous posts were articles we had posted elsewhere on our network. Now that our primary website is fully capable of hosting these stories, we will be forgoing the duplicity. This blog will take on a more laid-back attitude.

This is where company executives will be able to talk about what is on their mind, reactions to stories in the news (not just links to the articles), and suggestions on how you can help make your business, non-profit, home, or community more sustainable.

Importantly, this blog may contain opinions expressed by posters that are not those of GreenProfit Solutions or its partner companies.

All of us are looking forward to this new avenue of communication!

So, now that we're back: What should we discuss?