As should be clear from this section of our website we love deep important conversation on the cutting edge of the new economy.
Back in late May, I noticed that Holly Fowler from Council Fire a certified B Corps and a Maryland Benefit Corp www.councilfire.org had posted on the member-only internal B Corps social media site the B Hive with a question about employee ownership.
This is right in our wheelhouse here at Dog & Catmandu with Jerry’s 30 years of running a triple bottom employee-owned company and having executed a successful exit and our collective 80 years of diverse business experience.
I reached out to Holly and George and several emails later and an introductory phone call we arranged a date for a Salon Day here at Dog & Catmandu.
That Thursday was a beautiful day and thankfully amazingly comfortable temperatures in the gazebro (see pictures). Arriving right on time, we helped our three guests (George and Holly brought along a wonderful MBA intern that had been doing employee ownership research) transition from a couple-hour car ride with a brief walkabout Dog & Catmandu. They seem to really get the spiritual and magical energy here. Simply perfect for the nature of the ensuing conversation.
After a brief guided meditation to “bring everyone into the room” we did an introductory round of how everyone was feeling. Enthusiasm and gratitude ruled the day.
Now we got down to the meat of the day. Now I know you out there in blog reader land are waiting for me to dish the dirt on a cool company. Just like your therapist does not dish your dirt we don’t dish on our friends. As the saying goes what happens at Dog & Catmandu stays at Dog & Catmandu.
I would like to have a moment to sing Council Fires praise. We loved their values and deep commitment to having an impact in the world of sustainability. They are already highly committed and yet are constantly scanning for ways to be better. An inspiration to us all. I don’t know of a smarter team anywhere. They got their start twenty years ago doing water work in the Chesapeake Bay and while that work continues, they now do projects globally. One business extension that is growing rapidly for them is communications and storytelling. Their NGO and government clients have realized the limits of science alone are not as effective as if they are able to effectively engage all their stakeholders. Council Fire is one of the few companies able to do the deep science work as well as meet the storytelling needs that science requires to be effective in a multistakeholder world. Impressive folks, we were blessed to engage with.
What I will share are some themes that are relevant to most organizations out there. Founder syndrome is ubiquitous in the business community triple bottom line company or not.
Positive change comes easier when you are on an upswing. Do not wait to get an outside perspective before you need it.
Strategy is huge your job is bigger than your to-do list.
Your product or service is not all you need to pay attention to, your ‘company” is the finance, accounting, sale & marketing, leadership, and people. This is the foundation that supports your product. It needs your care and feeding.
Selfcare and a personal growth agenda are vital as is time off.
All easy to say and not easy to do. It’s important to get help.
Over the course of the day, we deeply explored employee ownership and much more. I procured the lunch, snacks, and beverages we provided from our local locally owned health food supermarket. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, I know I did, we finished the leftovers for dinner.
I can say with 100% certainty that the time you spend in conversation with us here at Dog & Catmandu will have a deep impact on your organization.
Reach out and say hi. We are very friendly and open.