Timothy S. McCausland, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at Orange County Trust Company
In 2010, with over 25 years working in transactional matters involving real estate, trusts and estates, commercial matters and finance, attorney Timothy S. McCausland began investigating the growing trend of states adopting benefit corporation legislation. The B-Corps won McCausland over, especially since at the time he resided within a more rural part of New York and felt that the B-Corp would be a great fit for his region. By working alongside a colleague and friend, Gary Schuster, and familiarizing his state legislators with benefit corporations, the pair was able to push for the legislation and ultimately, for benefit corporation legislation to be passed in New York.
Today, we’re interviewing Timothy, currently serving as the Senior Vice President for Orange County Trust Company, on where he thinks B-Corps are heading, the benefits of going B-Corp for your business, and why once the switch is on for setting up a B-Corp, it can’t be switched so easily back off.
Although many had believed the digital age would bring a dramatic decrease in the usage of paper as a medium, it is evident that this is not yet the case. The average company still prints around a hundred documents a day, which proves that paper is still irreplaceable in the business world. However, computers did bring us an unwelcomed change – increasing complexity in managing and controlling a company’s paper output.
Tim Frick, Principal at Mightybytes
For Tim Frick and the team at Mightybytes, sustainability means more than trending on a Google search – it’s how they do business. A full-service creative firm for conscious companies in Chicago, Mightybytes provides branding, content strategy, and web based services to its clients along with being a certified B Corporation. They’re passionate about making a social impact with their work to make the world a better place, even if it happens, “just one small pixel at a time.”
We asked Tim five questions on his business and he gave us some pretty amazing answers on how he left corporate America behind for the entrepreneurial lifestyle, the bootstrapped beginnings of the company, and how in order to be an entrepreneur you need to walk the walk.
1) How did your business get started?
After a brief career in corporate America I started freelancing in 1995, which eventually evolved into what is now Mightybytes. The freelance lifestyle was attractive to me due to the freedom it offered and the DIY philosophy of being an entrepreneur. Quality of life and doing impactful, cause-driven work I can be proud of is at the core of who I am as a person. We imbue those principles into all we do at Mightybytes.
With all this “B Corp” buzz in the air, it’s time to get one thing straight: the Benefit Corporation and the “B Corp” are not created equal. The terms are often used interchangeably, and it’s not necessarily wrong to say “B Corporation” or “B Corp” to informally describe a Benefit Corporation either. People understandably confuse the two, since both similarly aspire to cement a social or environmental purpose in a company’s mission and corporate governance structure.
But there is still a key difference between the pair: the benefit corporation is a legal entity recognized under a state’s corporate laws, while the “B Corporation” (or B Corp) is a certification conferred upon a company by a certifying organization. A company can be a B Corp without being a Benefit Corporation – and vice versa – but it’s important to know that while these two sound similar enough at first glance, they actually function fairly differently from one another.
Entrepreneurs, take note! There’s big news on the B Corporation front – this August, Delaware became the 19th state to enact benefit corporation legislation, a move that signals the new business entity’s staying power.
While it’s true that 18 other states and D.C. are already on board the B Corp train, Delaware has an especially longstanding, notable reputation as a corporate haven, and as an important and influential player in the business community. In other words, people in business pay extra attention to Delaware, and when Delaware passed benefit corporation legislation, it was a very big deal. The state’s legal recognition of benefit corporations will spark more momentum for a movement that aims to sink legal teeth into the notion that companies should mold their missions to benefit society as a whole, instead of primarily focusing on maximizing profits for shareholders.
In today’s environmentally conscious social environment, building and operating a business that implements as many green practices as reasonably possible is not only healthy for the environment, it’s also a case of excellent PR. Numerous companies have actually boosted their sales revenues and client retention rates by through implementing eco-friendly practices and publicizing this fact.
In some cases, clients are even willing to accept slightly higher costs of doing business if they’re made aware of the fact that your company is honestly attempting to ease the footprint it leaves on the environment.
Given these benefits and the fact that you will be leaving a small but important mark on the world, there is no reason not to adapt at least a few key green strategies in your own start-up or established business. Let’s cover a few.
What is the coolest thing your manager or CEO has ever given you? A free lunch? The chance to work at home? Free samples of whatever your company produces?
Whatever it is, it probably pales in comparison to some of the things big name CEO’s are handing out to their employees these days. Of course we could have found a lot more than three examples of CEO’s being generous – there are plenty of stories out there about bosses divvying up their holiday bonuses, or taking a pay cut to help out with things get tough. But these were the three that had our social media department buzzing, and we thought’d it would be pretty cool to look at the perks being given out in the corporate world. Continue reading
Training new employees should never be the rudimentary process consisting of a used manual, a few words of encouragement and a “here ya go” send off. Whether your business has 10 employees or is a 1,000+ strong, the training methods should be oriented in a way that excites and enlightens, while being streamlined all the same.
Skills should be seasoned; regardless of how well-qualified a candidate is from the onset. And there are many ways to make the introductory training programs adaptable and accessible for each and every employee.
Here are a few tips towards achieving not just a well-trained employee, but gaining better perspective on your company’s productivity for the long run. Continue reading