I know where my passion, expertise and skill set lie and the cultures in which I thrive. Working with smart people, brand marketing & partnerships, consumer insights & cultural trends that allow me to see and understand ‘what’s next’, content development & perhaps most importantly, doing something that positively impacts the world.
This probably helps explain why I have been happiest and most fulfilled in my career when I have guided brands to the future based on new technology and trends in ways that changed the way business is done, and allowed me to flex my entrepreneurial muscles in a manner that transcended mere profit to yield true purpose.
My current collaboration with Billee Howard – BRANDthropologie Media – is a creative consultancy built around purposeful inclusion that fuses all of my passions under one umbrella. What I’m most thrilled about my new role is the canvas I have to work with top brands, and the leaders who steward them, to begin to etch out what positive and meaningful change can and should look like in these polarizing times. To provide the most value that bridges the gap between the public and private sectors and activate powerful change, we have developed a methodology that helps brands identify their purpose and then creates the content experiences that will help define distinction and positively impact the bottom line. Think McKinsey meets NBCUniversal. McKinBC! FINALLY, a role that gives me license to meld my business acumen with my passion for creativity and content. FINALLY, a role that lets me unite my professional aspirations with my personal interests to effect positive transformation.
I am a risk taker, and as such, am not unfamiliar with being too early to the party with a product, idea or solution, but this feels different. We are at a cultural flashpoint where it’s never been more important for brands to pick up the ball that the Government has so obviously fumbled. I believe that what we have fought for so hard in the past – everything from basic civil rights to (more specific) disability and LGBTQ rights will continue to be called into question amidst this time of great uncertainty and upheaval. As a result, we must all step up and have our voices count as the fight has just begun. In today’s environment, the private sector can be a powerful amplifier of our voices, and our partner in not only maintaining the impactful changes of the past, but also ensuring the promise of further progress that strives to make tomorrow better than today.
My hands down favorite TED talk is Simon Sinek’s ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’. I affectionately refer to this talk as ‘The Power of Why’. People don’t buy what you do but why you do it. This mission of finding ways to profit with purpose will not only lead us to the protection of our rights and the continued progress we all crave, but also bring value to the brands leading this charge, setting a new standard of what business excellence should look like. Whether you are a newly-minted graduate choosing an organization to join, a community looking to partner with a brand, OR a shareholder deciding if you should increase your position in a stock, purpose will without question emerge as a critical bellwether in determining the answer to each and every one of these questions.
In our collaborative purpose-driven economy, day-to-day business practice must demonstrate that a brand cares as much about leaving the world a better place as it does about improving its own bottom-line. I am not alone in this assertion. Look no further than Fast Company’s ‘Find Your Purpose’ issue, The Harvard Business Review E&Y Study: The Business Case for Purpose, Davos 2017, or even the purposeful inclusion cadence that set the rhythm for nearly every commercial at this year’s Super Bowl and last night’s Oscar Awards broadcast. It has never been more important for brands to demonstrate that we are stronger together than we are divided.
I’ve had a personal mantra since I lost one of my dearest high school friends several years ago: Do More, Do Better. I pledge to live each and every day obeying that guiding mantra and I invite each and everyone of you to join me. United we stand. United we rise.