Combining business goals with community interests is like creating a win-win scenario for both your company and the community. This combination is powerful. Your work consists of numbers, stats, and goals, but it also consists of real people and their experiences. In other words, your business success includes stories and stats. Here are a few strategies to help you view your work from a community lens (the stories) and a business lens (the stats). The result is - greater impact.
Identify Shared Values:
Understand the values that are important to both your business and the community. For example, most businesses value wellness and the community wants to be well!
Align your business goals with those values to create a common ground.
Community Needs Assessment:
Conduct a thorough assessment of the community's needs and priorities. The assessment should include conversations directly with community members.
Tailor your business goals to address some of these needs. For example, your business wants to fill jobs and most people want good-paying jobs.
Develop initiatives that involve collaboration between your business and the community.
Most communities include government, philanthropic, non-profit agencies, consultants, and private business partners that can help your business meet your goals in various ways.
Adopt a framework (approach) that can be used to structure the work, project, or program. Framework examples: logic model, DMAIC, SIPOC, Collective Impact Model, Community School Model, or other best practices.
Make the framework simple, visual, and colorful to increase understanding and buy-in.
Include the assumptions, the historical context, the research, actual case studies, and the data when presenting the framework.
Local Employment and Sourcing:
Prioritize hiring locally and sourcing products or services from within the community. Include diverse (e.g. MBW, WBE, DOBE) and new businesses.
Create talent development programs with local partners to grow the talent pool for your jobs.
Open Communication Channels:
Establish open communication channels with the community.
Seek feedback and involve community members in decision-making processes related to your business.
Sponsorship and Partnerships:
Sponsor local events, sports teams, or cultural activities.
Forge partnerships with community organizations to expand and amplify your impact.
Offer educational programs or workshops that benefit community members.
This could include skills training, career development, or financial literacy programs.
Pursuing common values and goals across businesses and communities takes time, flexibility, and patience.
Demonstrate a long-term commitment to the community rather than pursuing short-term gains.
By combining your business goals with community goals, you not only enhance your company's reputation but also contribute to the overall well-being of the community. Remember your business is about people and processes, stories and stats, the qualitative and the quantitative. There's power in understanding this synergy.