While I was incredibly impressed with True to Our Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution, I’ll spare all readers with another review of the content that can be had somewhere else. Instead, it’s much more beneficial to comment on an aspect that the author just touches in a few places but doesn’t seem to emphasize. To give a bit of background, the story is written by the CEO of Fetzer Vineyards, Paul Dolan, who helped transform the vineyard and a large part of the California wine industry into a ‘environmentally and socially conscious’ industry. While doing this, he grew the company at double digit earnings increases for ten or so years, and now, he is promoting this sort of change in corporate business policy to all companies and industries.
Dolan’s sale to the corporate world seems to be based more on the moral and socially responsible aspects of making these changes to business, but he doesn’t seem to accentuate the aspects that might have a bigger impact in converting the CEOs of the world, such as increased sales and higher profits margins. Here are some of the advantages I see from adopting the Fetzer philosophy, if the philosophy alone isn’t reason enough.
1) Employees that are motivated by more than money will work harder, work for less, and enjoy working much more.
2) Consumers will prefer an earth-friendly product over the contrary at the same price point, and in many cases, consumers will pay a premium for these products.
3) Consumers prefer purchasing products from companies with happy employees.
4) Companies that engage in these practices are often publicly awarded for making strides in environmental and social change.
5) In many cases, converting operations to an environmentally sound approach can lower operating costs over the long term.
CxO interpretation: lower costs, increased sales, higher productivity per employee, less employee turnover, free viral marketing, increased brand awareness