We are delighted to welcome Shel Horowitz to this week’s show. Shel has been a passionate activist for social change and environmental sustainability his entire life. Today, he talks about the links between business profitability and social change. Shel sees a world of business opportunity right in front of you. Listen in on our conversation to get some ideas for your business…
- 00:51 Intro to Shel Horowitz, profitability and social change business expert.
- 2:01 Shel’s story: How social change can start at a very young age and continue for a lifetime.
- 4:32 The philosophy about business as a force for social change, being ethical, and that business can be profitable with social change business models.
- 6:36 Shel’s mission to tackle some of the biggest issues on the planet with social change businesses. A practical triple-bottom line example of LED lamps to replace kerosene lanterns
- 9:15 Practical social change business designs solve the planetary problems based in resource issues. You must believe you can to see the possibilities to make it happen.
- 10:41 The philosophy of the triple-bottom line – good for the profitability, good for the planet, and good for society. The trends in business are to move toward social change that good business brings a win for all involved.
- 11:43 Conscious capitalism, the stakeholder orientation, and how the relationship a business has with customers has evolved. Their basic needs are the same, but their wants and expectations have changed due. Business based on social change is moral and practical.
- 15:03 Shel’s insights about marketing, consumers, and employees who demand authenticity and social responsibility from businesses link to what we learned about Millennials during our Millennials in the Workplace series.
- 16:29 The difference between philanthropy and creating social change business solutions. The “Law of Life” and “biological marketing” – it’s all about relationships and how they match how Nature handles “marketing.”
- 17:30 Social change businesses can learn from Nature and how it solves problems. The answers are there, but people get stuck thinking it’s too hard.
- 18:40 What does Shel say about the argument that business is already hard enough, that it’s too much to worry about social change? A social change approach is the key to high profitability, less money spent on marketing, happier employees, and wins on many levels.
- 20:01 What is the mental barrier or the bias some have who think social change business isn’t profitable?
- 21:00 What is the low-hanging fruit for businesses? Easy cost-saving measures and how to be a hero by designing for social change inside the business and for the environment.
- 23:33 The innate talent and perspective Shel has about creating social change businesses. Shel brings the smart, caring insights that can help any business increase profitability through social change –whether you are a “non-green,” or really care about social change, or not. See Chapter 2 of his book for the data.
- 28:55 Shel helps identify the right fit for businesses that want to go beyond sustainability and contribute in a profitable way to social change and improving the environment.
- 32:19 Shel’s ability to see possibilities and respond to them in ways that help businesses get ahead of potential issues, take action, and create solutions that help the environment and create social change.
- 33:55 More examples of how much we’ve already figured out to affect environmental and social change. Amory Lovins’s energy work, Tesla and battery storage, the emerging focus on energy as a business KPI (See the HBR article listed below.)
- 37:55 Shel’s perspective on the impact this type of thinking has on leadership. His recommendations that will help leaders take successful profitable social change actions.
- 40:22 Staying aware and active about managing resources and creating social change businesses while staying in a mindset of abundance. It isn’t always about constraining, but often about expanding possibilities that we didn’t see before.
- 43:05 Going back into the book for a deeper dive into Shel’s book to connect profitability and social change in business. When is it time to go to the expert? Blending your passion with your business model.
- 45:05 Speed round!
Our Guest: Shel Horowitz
For more than 40 years, Shel Horowitz has straddled two worlds: the world of profitability and marketing and the world of transformational social and environmental change. He shows businesses how to thrive by fixing the biggest issues humanity faces: hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change. Shel shows consumers how to push business to do more for the world. He even founded a movement that saved a mountain in his community.
Shel is known as “the Transformpreneur”™ … He is the founder of Going Beyond Sustainability, a company where he acts as a “Social Transformation Sherpa” in the new world where business success revolves around helping the planet. Shel brings decades of experience in both the business and environmental spheres—helping companies create profitability in social change businesses by identifying business opportunities within an organization’s existing expertise. His mission is to help businesses turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance.
Shel Horowitz has repeat appearances in many top publications including the New York Times, Inc., Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, ABC News, and more. He is a TEDx speaker and the best-selling and multiple-award-winning author of 10 books including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green (34 months on the Amazon category bestseller lists). His tenth book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, was released in April and immediately hit two bestseller lists upon its release.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Going Beyond Sustainability – Shel Horowitz’s company that shows businesses how to find the sweet spot that combines profitable products and services with deep social and environmental change. Order his new book, and then get your free gifts.
- Shel’s TEDx Talk “Impossible is a Dare: Business for a Better World”
- Energy Strategy for the C-Suite (HBR article) – The Harvard Business Review article Kymm mentioned that outlines how businesses can make social change efforts around energy management to increase profitability.
- Amory Lovins on TED – Watch two excellent TED talks from esteemed physicist who dedicated his career on solving the energy challenges we face. Lovins has always focused on solutions that conserve natural resources while also promoting economic growth.
Books mentioned in this episode
Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World: Combining Principles and Profit to Create the World We Want