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Archive for November 19th, 2008

I can’t think of a more exciting time to be alive and working in the US than right now.  Technology, politics, sustainable practices, social networking, progressive businesses, they are all heading for not just change, but the Responsibility Revolution.  It is a dramatic paradigm shift.   We’ve watched the decades long and constant drip of this movement intensify and come to a head, I believe, first with An Inconvenient Truth and second with the election of Barak Obama to the Presidency.  It is finally here.  Call me naive, but I believe in a big picture, forward thinking way of doing business that gives more than it takes in the community and operates on integrity.  According to CNBC “…consumers increasingly prioritize accountability and integrity from companies, it is clear that the social responsibility movement is here to stay.”  But if you’re not already convinced, your business will be left behind very quickly.

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So what does that mean to you?  A couple things:  I imagine you work with people who are looking for ways to grow and change their business to keep up with at least the competition.  I also imagine you are a person with vision, integrity and a bold sense of style. (I can tell that about you.)  So how can your department, company or industry contribute to and be part of the Responsibility Revolution?  Many businesses are starting with Green practices.  But it doesn’t have to start or stop there.  What is meaningful, connected to your business and the most obvious, local place to start?

One of my favorite approaches from a blogger (The Secret Diary of a Bonafide Marketing Genius) asked businesses who were pitching products to her to donate $100 to Doctors Without Borders in exchange for her writing about the product.   She talked about why this organization was important to her, briefly offering information about the group and insight into what motivates her, then made it VERY easy to donate.  Other companies, like Xerox and Target, have made it part of the way they do business, either by pioneering greener, cleaner ways to operate or by giving back to local communities over $3 million…per week.

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And saving the best for last:  Since this blog is about marketing and the convergence of the wine industry and social networking, allow me to share with you about Humanitas.  Owner and Thought Leader Judd Wallenbrock wrote, “I’ve embraced the message of giving directly from my revenue line and am working off of giving 7% of my revenues to charity.”  To so many of us, the solution is an obvious, elegant, timely one.  Wallenbrock provides yet another example for all businesses.  Contributing to your community is not just a good idea; it is essential to an integrated, progressive, successful business plan.

This Friday, November 21, wine lovers world wide will join Twitter Taste Live and Humanitas to “Drink Charitably”.  Now there’s a holiday present that will be on MY gift giving list.  “A Better World, One Sip At a Time”  Yes, please.

NOTES:

Hahn Vineyards were recently certified Sustainable in Practice.  And, through the magic of Twitter, I posted about trying to get Humanitas wine in time for this Friday’s tasting.  Multiple strokes of good fortunate brought Judd Wallenbrock to my office with the wines for the tasting.  I had already started this post, and synchronously, absolutely had to include Humanitas and what they do.  Leaders in any industry are rarely appreciated for the challenging path of pioneering a new way of thinking, being and doing business.  Thank you.

How do you give back?

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