August 04, 2019     Daily Post

Learning To Love Shoveling Dirt

Every member of a company with a cause eventually discovers ‘dirt’.

It’s usually before they join. Sometimes it’s after.

But all must discover it, or the company risks losing its soul.

Dirt defined

‘Dirt’ is what motivates most of them to join the company in the first place.

It’s the hard work that directly affects those they’re in business to truly serve.

For companies that do business to support those in extreme poverty, the ‘dirt’ could be going to where they live and experiencing their lives, building housing and living how they live.

For those who help fund the fight against human trafficking, the ‘dirt’ could be experiencing the stories of those who have lived through things we can barely imagine.

The ‘dirt’ is on the front lines of that which we’ve declared is so important to us as social-good companies.

Dirt forgotten

The problem is… when a company makes progress and becomes increasingly profitable, there are many within such an organization that forget what the ‘dirt’ is really like.

They don’t experience it as often as they used to. They become increasingly acquainted with the trappings of comfort and further removed from the narrative at place in the areas they’ve taken responsibility for.

When the narrative weakens, so does the connection with the market. We can’t speak effectively to people we don’t understand, about things we don’t understand.

The distance makes liars of us.

How well do you know your ‘dirt’, and are you as committed to it as you were when the company was young?