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Become a Change-Maker Brand: Part 7

“I’m passionate about making the right choices for the planet, when I was in school, we had to imagine future scenarios for the fashion industry. I read about the Sharing Economy and thought, ‘why isn’t this happening in fashion?’ It makes so much more sense.”

Juultje Dehing, Lena Fashion Library, Amsterdam.

I have become fascinated by change-makers and over the last three years, I have interviewed more than 200 of them for my upcoming book, Generation Share. Published on June 17th by Policy Press for Global Sharing Week and co-created with photographer Sophie Sheinwald, Generation Share demonstrates the social impact of the Sharing Economy and how it is changing the way we think, live and do business.

Previously in this blog, I have revealed the 6 character traits that make up the Anatomy of a Change-Maker. In this series, I’m looking at how these character traits can be applied in a business and organisation context and how businesses of all shapes and sizes can harness these characteristics to become what I call ‘Change-Maker Brands.’

From being a Sharer to the trait of bravery, from adaptability to putting love at the heart of our business decisions; from positivity to being future-conscious, I’ll demonstrate how these change-maker characteristics are essential for business survival. So far, I’ve written about the characteristics: SHARE, being BRAVE, the ability to ADAPT, how by putting LOVE (a word we don’t necessarily associate with business) at it’s heart, we can transform business and POSITIVITY. Today, in this final instalment of how to Become a Change-maker Brand, I’m looking at how companies need to be future-facing and embrace the unknown.

Become a Change-Maker Brand: FUTURE.

The very power structures of society are being dismantled, the control and command approaches of the past are becoming redundant. Business is far from usual and to survive, companies need to adapt and participate in the creation of social value. In the future, social and environmental considerations will drive commercial success and we are starting to see evidence of that already. Social business and social enterprise is on the rise, accounting for a quarter of new start-ups in Europe.[1] They are also at the forefront of economic recovery, outperforming their mainstream SME counterparts in nearly every area of business, from turnover growth, to job creation.[2]

The next evolution of the Sharing Economy will see social and environmental mission supersede profit, as companies start to recognize that in future, the only way to achieve commercial success, is to create social and environmental wealth too. The David’s who unseated the Goliaths are being brought to task by a new generation of social entrepreneurs who know that value needs to, and will be, shared.

Here’s my Change-Maker Checklist Number 6, to help your company take the sixth and final step to becoming a Change-Maker Brand by being future-facing and embracing the unknown:

  1. How are you looking at the bigger picture?

  2. What are you doing to create value for the future?

  3. How are your products and services sustainable? Circular?

  4. How are you changing lives for the future?

  5. How are you embracing the unknown?

  6. How could your brand help build a better world?

Change-maker businesses are those who are able to embody the trait of being future-facing in the DNA of their organisation and as the results show, being able to look beyond is key to business success.

Generation Share will be published by Policy Press in two weeks, on June 17th for Global Sharing Week. You can pre-order your copy here.

If you are a business who wants to become a change-maker brand email me or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska

[1] European Commission, 2017

[2] The State of Social Enterprise Report 2015, Social Enterprise UK

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