According to Ken Blanchard, "I love CAUSE! It's all about people and organizations who feel called to make a difference—to serve a purpose far beyond the typical bottom line. The book's design is a feast for the eyes and its message is food for the soul. Read this book and serve at a higher level." These days if your company isn't tied to a heroic cause, your business may be doomed. Companies that define themselves as cause-oriented stand out! They have better employee engagement, customer loyalty, and ultimately, stronger profitability and growth. CAUSE! documents a fresh approach to leadership and collaboration that drives business success in companies as diverse as TOMS, Lululemon, Virgin, Southwest Airlines and PepsiCo. And CAUSE! takes an in-depth look at how National Life Group, a financial services firm, built its culture and brand around a CAUSE to stand out in the industry's sea of sameness. According to Peter Economy, The Leadership Guy, INC.COM, "There are few business books that truly have the power to change the world, but CAUSE! is one of them. In this book, Kevin and Jackie Freiberg clearly show how having a heroic cause attracts great talent, while motivating people to bring their best selves to work. Do your organization a huge favor and read this book right now!" And, according to Chip R. Bell, "CAUSE! is more than a clear blueprint for success; it is also a poignant design for organizational nobleness. Read it and get ready to have your perspective and practice redirected toward the soul of excellence."
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About the Author
Jackie and Kevin Freiberg are bestselling authors and founders of the San Diego Consulting Group Inc. The Freibergs are dedicated to helping leaders create Best Places where the Best People can do their Best Work to make the world Better. Both have Ph.D.'s and teach part-time at the University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences. In their international bestseller NUTS! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, Kevin and Jackie uncovered the strategies that created the greatest success story in the history of commercial aviation. NUTS! was followed by:GUTS! Companies that Blow the Doors Off Business-as-usual;BOOM! 7 Companies for Blowing the Doors Off Business-as-usual;NANOVATION: How a Little Car Can Teach the World to Think Big; the inside story of one of the greatest innovations in the auto industry since the Model-T. It's also a roadmap for expanding your capacity to innovate and making innovation part of your cultural DNA; andDO SOMETHING NOW, three simple words that will change your organization—change your life. The scarcest resource in organizations right now is not money, talent, ideas or power; it's people who DO, people who add value and get things done. DSN inspires Dreamers to become Doers. Everyone wants to add value and this book shows you how.BE A PERSON OF IMPACT: 12 Strategies to be the CEO of Your Future. This book is an unapologetic kick in the butt to proactively manage your brand and reputation. POI will challenge you to reimagine, rethink, refresh, and even completely reengineer your brand. Why? Because your brand is in your control. If you want to be indispensable, stand-out as the best in your business and lead others to do the same this book will show you how. The Freibergs speak on leadership, innovation and change all over the world. They have a global practice including firms in Europe, Japan, South Africa, India, Central and South America, as well as companies throughout the United States and Canada.
Read an Excerpt
A Business Strategy for Standing out in a Sea of Sameness
By Jackie Freiberg, Kevin Freiberg
freibergs.comCopyright © 2015 San Diego Consulting Group, Inc.
All rights reserved.
PART 1 THE ROI OF CAUSE
THE NEW DRIVING FORCE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
National Life might be one of America's best-kept secrets, but it's a secret that is giving history a shove. And National Life happens to be in good company.
There is an undeniable wave cresting. The wave is a new breed of companies that are purposedriven and cause-oriented. They are forward-thinking and intentional about doing good, connecting dreams to opportunities, and launching movements that make the world better. Their success and confidence come from defining their business as a cause.
Their confidence attracts and unleashes talent, accelerates innovation, strengthens brand reputation, moves markets, allows the organization to move with speed and agility, stimulates investments, and creates long-term growth.
Companies that are committed to solving problems that matter and dedicated to creating a better world for all stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors, and community) are almost always cause-oriented. That is, they are committed to making a profit while making a difference. These companies have answered four critical questions:
Who are we? Why do we exist? What's noble and heroic about what we do? In terms of meaningful impact on the world, if we were gone tomorrow why would we be missed?
The answers to these questions grow confidence, guide behavior, drive strategy, transcend leaders, and endure over time. They give everyone in the organization a reason to come to work every day.
There is a strong correlation between a noble, heroic cause and the confidence necessary to build and sustain a successful enterprise. Deloitte's Core Beliefs & Culture survey shows that cause-oriented firms are more confident in their forecasts for future growth. And so they tend to invest heavily in new initiatives and new technologies or expand into new markets that lead to long-term growth.
The report — based on a survey of 1,053 executives and employees with full-time jobs in organizations with over 100 employees — found that 82 percent of respondents (executives and employees) who work for an organization with a strong sense of purpose say they are confident that their organization will grow, compared to 48 percent of those whose organizations do not have a strong sense of purpose.
Need a business case for defining the business as a cause? Check out the following pages; the ROI (Return on Investment) is hard to ignore.
It turns out that not only is "doing good" a moral imperative, it's good for business.
GREATER LONG-TERM INVESTMENT
According to the Deloitte Core Beliefs & Culture survey, people who work for cause-oriented companies believe their company will heavily reinvest.
Consider the following investment differences between firms with a strong sense of purpose and those without:
New technologies: 38% vs. 19%
Expanding into new markets: 31% vs. 21%
Forming new strategic partnerships: 31% vs. 18%
Developing new products and services: 27% vs. 17%
Employee development and training: 25% vs. 11%
Leadership development: 23% vs. 11%
Confident, forward-thinking, business leaders drive innovation, mold and maintain company culture, invest in technology, explore new relationships, and maximize the use of resources strategically. This makes sense. Everyone knows that reinvesting is crucial to a company's continued growth and success. Yet, the companies driven by a cause lean into this more. Why?
When there is a cause worth fighting for and a problem worth solving, the passion and the compelling business case for reinvesting is stronger.
The idea is that when we believe what we are doing is so meaningful and so important then we naturally believe that we can't afford NOT to reinvest.
General Electric's (GE) passion for making a profit while making a difference was built around its cause: Ecomagination. The aim of the cause is to invest in clean technology research and development, introduce green products to customers, and reduce GE's greenhouse gas emissions.
Leveraging the power of crowdsourcing, GE engaged its entire workforce in developing Ecomagination. Employees collaborated to design new products and new ways to cut energy use. The results ranged from revamping GE manufacturing plants and creating more efficient routes for GE trucks to rolling out new consumer products like compact fluorescent lights.
GE employees gained new skills, motivation, and a sense of pride in the company from doing something good for the environment. Meanwhile, GE doubled its investment in and revenue from green technologies.
ATTRACT "IMPACT" TALENT.
When your business is tied to a noble, heroic cause — a movement to make the world better — people will beat a path to your door. But not just any people. Not wannabes, but change makers. People who are moved by and connected to the purpose, people who also see their work as a calling and a crusade.
Changing the world is not for the faint of heart. It's for people crazy enough to step out of the routine and into the breach to have a positive impact. They carry a courage that makes others question their sanity and a focus that inspires other like-minded change makers to follow.
Net Impact, a nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in using business skills in support of various social and environmental causes, asked students and workers what factors were essential to their happiness. The Talent Report shows that after marriage, children, and financial security, having a job "where I can have an impact" is most important.
A majority of students (65 percent) expect to make a positive social or environmental difference in the world within six years of joining the workforce Furthermore, 58 percent said they would take a 15 percent pay cut to get this kind of opportunity.
CHECK OUT THE FINDINGS.
All other things being equal, I would take a 15% pay cut ...
83% ... for a job that makes a social or environmental impact
88% ... to work for an organization with values like my own
71% ... to work for a company committed to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)
When your company offers something that's more purposeful than just a job with a paycheck, you win.
WHAT ABOUT PROFESSIONALS CURRENTLY EMPLOYED?
A little more than half (55 percent) say they are currently in a job where they can make a social or environmental impact on the world. And they are more satisfied by a ratio of 2:1. For example, 49 percent report high satisfaction levels, compared to just 24 percent of those who do not have impact opportunities at work.
More firms today (40,000) are publishing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reports to show prospective employees that they have a triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) and that they can have an impact.
IT consulting company Capgemini understands the power of a cause in attracting impact talent. Rather than offer a t-shirt or CPS (cheap plastic stuff) to individuals who completed a 30minute recruiting survey, Capgemini offered to fund a week of schooling for a needy child in India.
The response was huge. Approximately 10,000 people completed the survey and submitted resumes. From those respondents, Capgemini found 2,000 job candidates who were a fit and ultimately hired 800 people. The entire exercise also funded 10,000 weeks of education for Indian children.
Is your job big enough for your spirit?
CAUSE ELEVATES EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
Employees want more than a paycheck. They want a sense of pride and fulfillment from their work. And, they don't want to check their values at the door when they come to work; they want a company whose values match their own.
As we will argue, when the business becomes a cause what follows is a movement and people OPT-IN to movements.
Employees are most passionate and engaged when they are fighting for a cause that is tied to their own deep-seated values — when work is an opportunity to invest themselves in issues that are important to them. This makes work a natural and impactful expression of who they are. Essentially, it helps them answer two very important questions:
DO I BELONG HERE? IS THERE CONGRUENCE BETWEEN WHAT THE ORGANIZATION STANDS FOR AND WHAT I STAND FOR?
The answers are telling. With congruence something very powerful happens. People bring more of themselves to work. They bring their best selves.
What makes people spiritually, emotionally, and physically sick? What makes them tired? What makes them empty or depressed, not engaged? A life that is incongruent. Without congruence, well-being and engagement go out the door.
Engaged people are more open to new information, more productive, more adaptive, and more willing to go the extra mile. Moreover, engaged people are all in; they take the initiative to change their work environments in order to stay engaged.
IBM found this to be true with the launch and growth of its Corporate Service Corps (CSC) plan. The program operates like a corporate version of the Peace Corps where IBMers bring their skills and experience in project management, strategic planning, marketing, or engineering to an entrepreneurial company based in a developing country. Think Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Malaysia, Romania, and South Africa, to name a few.
IBM launched Corporate Service Corps (CSC) as an integral part of a larger effort to help IBMers think and act like global leaders. By working and living in one of these emerging markets, IBMers develop sensitivity to new cultures, encounter different people with disparate needs and expectations, and become global citizens.
AS AN EMPLOYER THAT WANTS TO HAVE AN IMPACT IN THE WORLD, IBM'S CSC PAVES THE WAY FOR WANNABES TO BECOME CHANGE MAKERS.
This is just one example of doing good for yourself by doing good for others. IBM builds a global leadership mentality among its people, and its people enrich lives and raise the tide for entire countries by expanding the competencies and skills of local entrepreneurs.
CAUSE STRENGTHENS CULTURE.
Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said that when it comes to growing and sustaining a business, "Culture is not the most important thing — it's the only thing." Sinegal's comment reflects what some of the most successful CEOs in the world have in common: a fanatical focus on culture.
Entrepreneur magazine quoted Richard Branson, Virgin Group's founder, as saying: "Culture is one of the most underappreciated essentials in business. No matter how visionary, brilliant, and far-reaching a leader's strategy might be, it can all come undone if it is not fully supported by a strong and spirited corporate culture."
As the newly appointed CEO of National Life, Mehran Assadi sensed the value of culture and cause. In an effort to stand out in an industry recognized as a sea of sameness and to increase competiveness, Assadi made culture and cause strategic priorities. Five years later, National Life is changed. New talent wants in, employees and agents are more engaged, customers are loyal, and the industry is taking notice as National Life celebrates double-digit growth in annuities and life insurance.
Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines' iconic founder, will tell you that the most important committee at Southwest is the Culture Committee — a cross functional team of over 100 people who are charged with keeping the culture alive and strong.
It was over 25 years ago that we learned cause drives culture. In the early 70s Southwest Airlines fought 43 judicial and administrative proceedings, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, for the right to fly. Three major carriers, Branifl, Continental, and Texas International colluded to squash the little upstart before it could legitimately get one plane in the air. These hard-fought battles gave birth to a warrior spirit. Today, this spirit remains an essential part of the Southwest culture and a major contributor to one of the most productive workforces in the world, unprecedented profitability, and industry differentiation.
The Deloitte Core Beliefs & Culture survey indicates that organizations with a compelling cause are more likely to have strong corporate cultures than those that don't.
Companies with a compelling cause and strong corporate culture are:
83% more likely to embrace diversity and different options
80% more likely to encourage employees to innovate
79% more likely to encourage people to develop new business growth opportunities
74% more likely to provide tools for employees to reach their full potential
73% more likely to have leaders who seek out the opinions/ideas of others
"The most important thing you can do as a leader is create an environment where everyone knows that what they do makes a difference." That's from David Novak, chairman of Yum! Brands, parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC.
Novak knows that a noble, heroic cause has the power to create a culture where people are encouraged, appreciated, and willing to achieve extraordinary results.
Still not convinced? Go study the stories of USAA, Whole Foods, Medtronic, and Patagonia. Each of these companies has a thick, identifiable culture that saturates the entire organization. All have cultures that are driven by a cause.
CAUSE ELEVATES CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT.
Consumer preferences are shifting. It's no longer enough to sell a product or service that works. Consumers expect meaningful social impact. In the future, if you can't demonstrate that you are legitimately doing something to make the world better, you won't have a business. Check out the following studies.
Edelman's 2014 Trust Barometer study revealed that 92 percent of consumers want to do business with companies that share their concerns (e.g., economic development, the environment, human rights, poverty, and hunger) and 40 percent of consumers don't think brands are doing enough to demonstrate their beliefs in helping the world.
The Reputation Institute's 2013 Survey showed that while 73 percent of consumers are willing to recommend companies that stand for something meaningful, only 5 percent believe that companies actually deliver on their promises.
Consider the results from a 2013 survey done by marketing agency Good. Must. Grow: 30 percent of those surveyed said that they expect to increase the amount of goods and services they buy from socially-responsible companies in the next year (previously it was 18 percent).
The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility surveyed more than 29,000 respondents in 58 countries. Among consumers ages 40 — 44, 50 percent said they would pay more for products associated with a cause (up from 38 percent two years ago). The millennials are even more likely to spend more with companies that give back.
A study by public relations and marketing firm Cone Communications and Echo Research said 90 percent of shoppers worldwide are likely to switch to brands that support a good cause, given similar price and quality. Also, 90 percent of the 10,000 shoppers surveyed would boycott companies if they found the firms were negligent or guilty of irresponsible business practices.
The question of social entrepreneurship and social responsibility is a key topic in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting, where global business leaders wrestle each year with the issue of public distrust and the imperative for companies to do good for themselves while doing good for the world.
Toilet paper from Seventh Generation. Shoes from TOMS. Artisan products from Sevenly. Coats from Patagonia. Ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. There will always be some market segment that religiously buys goods from socially responsible companies.
BUT IF YOU THINK THEY ARE OUT ON THE FRINGE, THINK AGAIN. MORE AND MORE OF THESE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS BUYERS REPRESENT CENTER STAGE.
The market is hungry for something genuine to believe in.
STRONGER FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
There is a cause-and-effect relationship between a firm's ability to serve a higher cause, to do good, and its financial performance.
Procter & Gamble's former Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Stengel, in concert with Millward Brown Optimor, the second largest marketing research firm next to Nielsen, conducted an unprecedented, ten-year growth study utilizing a global database of more than 50,000 brands.
The brands that built the deepest relationships with customers while achieving the greatest financial growth from 2001 — 2011 were called the Stengel 50.
Here's what the Stengel 50 had in common. They were built on an ideal of improving lives and making the world better in some way, irrespective of size and category.
They defined "ideal" as the higher-order benefit a brand or a business gives to the world. They found that this cause was both a source of inspiration externally among customers as well as a compass for internal decision making.
THE RESULTS WERE IMPRESSIVE:
The Stengel 50 grew three times faster than their competitors.
The Stengel 50 outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 400 percent over the same 10 years.
Excerpted from Cause! by Jackie Freiberg, Kevin Freiberg. Copyright © 2015 San Diego Consulting Group, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of freibergs.com.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsPART I THE ROI OF CAUSE, 13,
PART 2 NATIONAL LIFE, 31,
PART 3 IN GOOD COMPANY, 45,
PART 4 WHAT REALLY MOTIVATES YOU?, 61,
PART 5 WAKING THE DEAD, 89,
PART 6 FIGHTING FOR A NOBLE, HEROIC CAUSE, 117,
PART 7 JOIN THE MOVEMENT, 139,
PART 8 WILL BUY FOR A CAUSE, 167,
PART 9 WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL YOU MAKE?, 179,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Freiberg give us a deep, moving message, full of passion! This book tells us about the culture in the company called National Life Group with the acronym LOVE: Living Our Values Every Day! The authors base the book from their perspective that cause drives culture, especially if it is committed to making a better world. Although much of the content is focused on that company, what is really touching and enriching are all the principles in which that cause inspires people to participate full of passion in that movement, become better and able to do extraordinary things. Throughout the chapters give us to know how the cause inspires employees to live a life that matters and are excited, allows them to feel they are contributing and are creating a legacy, to commit and be passionate about their work in a long -term engagement. It is a culture within the organization to let them know their employees and clients that they are important, that they matter and that takes them seriously, that they can thrive and belong to something bigger than themselves. I recommend this book to leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, or anyone seeking inspiration with his feet on the ground, seeking to create a long-term impact on their community or organization. My gratitude to the Publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to review the book