Business Roundtable CEOs Promote Purpose, Now Let’s Put These Principles Into Practice

Last week, 181 CEOs committed to pursue a more holistic and “purposeful” approach to business by serving stakeholders more broadly, moving away from the idea of shareholder primacy. You can read the full statement by the Business Roundtable here and the news release here.  This is a positive shift given that since 1997, this organization’s members have pushed the principles of shareholder primacy (and Milton Friedman’s Shareholder Theory). Their statement said, “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.

What does that mean for these 181 companies? Hopefully, it means change. For the better, for the “good,” for all. Let’s encourage these 181 CEOs (and all business leaders) to put these lofty “…for all of our stakeholders” words and commitments into practice. Let’s ask them to take action.

As the CEO of Scream Agency, we chose to put these good principles into practice by becoming a certified B Corporation. As a #BCorp, we must meet a list of standards related to our social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency, while creating value for all of our stakeholders. We are held accountable and receive certification by an outside third party, the nonprofit, B Lab. Today, only 2,933 companies around the world including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and New Belgium Brewing are certified B Corps. In other words, there is room for more. Room for companies to take action and use business as a force for good to tackle the world’s biggest challenges (instead of worrying about increasing a shareholder’s bottom line).

B Lab’s founders responded to the Business Roundtable CEOs with an article in Fast Company and were recognized in a Washington Post article, and in the NY Times. And the story has continued with the WSJ Editorial Board and in the Council of Institutional Investors.

NYT Let's Get to Work Ad
The “Let’s Get to Work” ad that ran in the New York Times on 8/25/19.

Yesterday in the New York Times, 33 of our fellow B Corp leaders took out this ad asking (and inviting) CEOs to walk the walk, to go beyond words and take real action toward balancing profit and purpose.

@BizRoundtable, we think you agree. Let’s get to work to create action, not just words. I invite you to join us in putting these principles into practice. This isn’t just an opportunity for Fortune 500 leaders, this is an opportunity for anyone and everyone (from leaders to followers, from CEOs to community members). Read, learn and ask the questions to see how you can put these principles of “purpose for all” into action.

Wondering where to get started? Become a B Corp. Or, start soaking up the knowledge from other leaders. Sign up for newsletters from Conscious Company Media, Be the Change and Triple Pundit to get tips and ideas on how to put principles into action.

#BCorp #WeTheChange

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