Know what’s surprising about all the social impact founders and leaders of companies, projects and campaigns we work with? We don’t talk about equity.
The good news about equity is that so much is possible
We don’t talk about diversity and inclusion. We don’t talk about how to get one or two more black or brown people at the table.
Diversity is fundamentally in the makeup of these founders and leaders and their companies and projects. They spend every day building communities like them around their work, putting their voices at the center of decision making. They know that is the only way to succeed in delivering social impact and business success.
That's equity in action. It’s inherent and organic in their game plan.
We don’t talk about how to find growth strategies for change, either. It is simply the reason we are in the room and we spend all of our time trying to make it happen.
What we’ve learned about shared growth
We’ve shared our belief that a thriving project (or business, or city) is one where the benefits and burdens of growth are shared equitably by all --- across race, ethnicity, income, geography, educational attainment, ownership, access to capital, etc.
Shared growth, in a phrase.
This is the good news about equity. So much is possible from this launching point.
But how is shared growth actually achieved?
Take a page out of any strategy consultant’s playbook – McKinsey, Bridgespan, Accenture – to name the most famously successful ones, and you’ll find consensus and a ton of information on processes and strategies for growth.
Finding growth has traditionally been a matter of improving one or more of these traditional growth factors: governance, markets, products, consumers, capital, talent, marketing, sales, service, finance and technology.
Working with social impact founders and projects, going all the way back to the project that inspired the creation of our business, we’ve had a chance to study and name what is different in the pursuit of growth strategies when equity is a given.
The factors remain the same, but the Shared Growth Roadmap is an overlay on these traditional factors, resulting in new approaches that excite stakeholders and meet new marketplace needs.
The shared growth roadmap is an overlay on the traditional factors, creating new ideas for exciting stakeholders and meeting new marketplace expectations
It starts with a new table, a fundamental change to the traditional leadership and governance norms by centering diverse voices and cultures in the decision-making process.
From there, product and market refreshes, diverse feedback loops, representative talent and new business models emerge. Net zero planning and continuous improvement processes and operations lead to a sustainable growth strategy. Along with way, new partnerships, markets and funding, become available to fuel the new growth.
The good news about equity
We’ll be unpacking the Shared Growth Roadmap in the coming weeks and months and listening for your feedback and your stories along the way. You are key to helping us create a shared resource to inspire this work in your own cities and across the country (and the world?).
We’ll be sharing the amazing stories of groups already doing this work, highlighting their processes and ideas in action. You'll see firsthand how much is possible, how quickly things can shift with a shared growth mindset.