By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano
The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg. The same pressure that crushes stone can turn coal into diamonds. Difficult circumstances will affect different leaders, teams, and organizations differently. As an old quote says, “It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.”
During this pandemic, one segment is particularly set up to thrive in our “new normal” world, post-coronavirus: purpose-driven businesses. In fact, during the last financial crisis, B-Corps – defined as businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose – were 63% more likely to survive than other similar-sized businesses (Source). Here are just a few of the reasons why this trend could reemerge in our current situation:
We’ve Realized What is “Essential”: We have lived through a chapter in history, unprecedented in our lifetimes. The lockdown stemming from COVID-19 has certainly put a lot of things in perspective. Healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and delivery drivers are hailed as heroes, dethroning the celebrities and athletes that were once put on pedestals. People have been reminded about what really matters: human connection.
People Want to Do Good: “Volunteer Alexandria,” which organizes volunteer efforts around D.C., has reported a 400% increase in volunteer registrations since coronavirus hit. With the world in crisis, people are more eager than ever to see how they can help – and this includes putting their money towards businesses practicing social good.
Their Employees Care: We wrote before about how the companies that thrive post-coronavirus will be those are able to innovate quickly, adeptly, and creatively. When it comes to values-driven companies, you’re likely to find employees who will rally to the cause, stay engaged in their work, and innovate to exceed expectations.
Flexible Roles and a Flattened Hierarchy: In Forbes’s analysis of why purpose-driven companies are set up for success in crises, they found this to be one of the key components. Transitioning from conference room meetings to Zoom calls, from face-to-face chats to IMs, and from working together to working remotely, the businesses who will prosper will be those who are most flexible – something already built-in to many B-Corps.