Leading change in your sector without spending a fortune
Social Impact: Your Secret Sauce
Everyone has something to give, something to add to the betterment of society. Your company, no matter the size, can be a catalyst for change.
- TOMS Shoes. The one-for-one model may not be groundbreaking now, but it shook the retail sector when it came on the scene. Bootstrapped (pun intended) and with a clear social goal.
- Café Domenica, a Brighton-based café, provides work opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Started locally, its social impact is spreading and spreading and spreading.
Audience Egagement: Quality Over Quantity
The only metric that really counts is engagement. It’s not about reach; it’s about depth. Go narrow but deep.
- The Skimm made a big splash with a simple newsletter. They knew their audience, spoke directly to them, and started conversations that mattered.
- Monzo Bank redefined banking by building a community around their services before they even had a banking license.
Workforce and Skills Development: Talent Isn’t Born, It’s Made
Don’t just hire the skill, build it. Take what you’ve got and make it better.
- Innocent Drinks focused on a work culture that supported employee development, well before they became a household name.
- Basecamp, a remote software company, started small. They grew their talent pool by investing in their team’s development, not by headhunting.
Influence-Building with Stakeholders: More Than Just Networking
Influence isn’t just having a little black book; it’s about meaningful interactions that lead to open doors.
- Canva disrupted the design sector without a war chest of funds. Their weapon? Building strong relationships with the right people, and being undeniably good at what they do.
- The Cambridge Satchel Company started in a kitchen but quickly built strong relationships with fashion influencers to expand their reach.
Purpose-Driven Goals: The North Star
The vision for change that you want to make is your North Star. Let it guide your decisions, strategies, and partnerships.
- Who Gives A Crap toilet paper sells eco-friendly loo roll and donates 50% of profits to sanitation projects. It is simple. It is clear. It is scalable. It resonates.
- GitHub, initially a bootstrapped project, held open-source as its North Star. Years later it is still the go-to platform for developers around the world.
Thought and Systems Leadership: Lead the Dialogue
Don’t just participate in the conversation; lead it. Create the frameworks that others will follow.
- Slack turned the dull corporate communication model on its head. They led the dialogue on how teams should communicate informally, and it stuck.
- TransferWise (now Wise) radically simplified international money transfer. They didn’t just join the conversation; they started it.
Transparency and Ethics: The New Normal
Openness should be the rule, not the exception. Operate in a way that you have nothing to hide.
- Consumer brands such as Lush Cosmetics and Tony’s Chocolonely have been transparent about their supply chain and ethics since day one, setting industry standards.
- Buffer set a precedent by making their salaries and revenue publicly available. They’ve become a benchmark in the tech sector for transparency.
You don’t need heaps of cash to lead change in your sector. You need audacity, vision, and a dab of practical bravery. Fortune favours the bold—but good ideas don’t have to cost a fortune.
We’d love to hear your visions for change.