On Monday, Sept. 29, the University of San Francisco hosted a book signing and business lecture by Tim Sanders, Yahoo’s Chief Strategy Officer, New York Times best-selling author, and the most in demand keynote business speaker on the lecture circuit, in Maier Hall.
Sanders’ new book, “Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference,” is his latest in a series of business books and other informational tools on running and maintaining a successful business. The book covers a variety of topics from sustainability, to going green, to fair trade. According to Sanders, the main point of the book is that businesses can make a difference while making a dollar.
“The business world is changing from a take/waste to a leave/grow mentality,” said Sanders. He explained that companies are now more heavily judged by customers and potential employees based upon their impact on the community and the larger environment.
Sanders laid out the top three qualities that people use to judge a company. The first is how they treat their employees. “We are emotionally attached to this quality because we ourselves are all workers,” he said. The second is the impact that the company has on the local community, since that is where the majority of the company’s employees come from, and they want to know that their company is on the side of their families and neighbors. The third, which is quickly rising due to social awareness about global warming, is environmental friendliness.
So what exactly is a green company? The term is used in the business world to mean to grow and expand your company. According to Sanders, green is a goal that is always being strived for and never reached because it is always growing. The four means of achieving green are reducing, reusing, recycling and replacing.
Sanders discussed the quality revolution that is now widespread. “People now ask of companies why should I work for you, buy from you, and invest in you?” he said.
According to Sanders, environmentally aware companies can hire an equally qualified person at 11% less than a company that does not put emphasis on environmental awareness because MBA’s know that the aware company will last longer. Companies that do not have a positive community impact don’t last any more.
Regressive economics doesn’t work anymore. Being less bad for the environment than the competing company is not enough because successful business have figured out that helping the environment and community will help make money. “90-day box thinking will kill you in the long run,” he said.
Sanders ended with a community development key to making a dollar while making a difference. “When you find an interest of the community and combine that with a capability of your company and help that community, you are creating a cash machine.”
To learn more about Sanders’ business model, visit his website at www.timsanders.com or www.savingtheworld.net.