By Vincent Molinari
Corporate social responsibility has grown up; it has evolved from young, green initiatives into forward-thinking adulthood. With this growth comes a new economic ideal: Kingonomics. What Martin Luther King Jr. inspired when he spoke about his dream is still incredibly relevant, especially in business.
The mission of Kingonomics, as Rodney Sampson puts it, is to “educate entrepreneurs in underserved, underrepresented and minority communities on the ins and outs of starting a business and, in the end, creating jobs.”
Rodney Sampson, a brilliant thinker, took the approach of digging into King’s body of work and created 12 guiding principles that not only drive current economics, but also speak to what entrepreneurialism means today.
The Importance of Kingonomics
Entrepreneurs are moving more toward the idea of self-actualization as they aim to invest in ways that help themselves become more fulfilled humans. This movement has restarted the thought process on how we invest, creating questions about the real rate of return.
Entrepreneurs are looking at their social impacts, their connectedness to their communities, and their transparency and positivity. Take, TOMS shoes or Thinx for example. Each company’s radical commitment to serving those with less privilege means every purchase triggers products and financial programs in developing nations. These companies have seen incredible growth and success by pursuing more than just profits.
Historically, many of these currencies existed but weren’t as tangible or quantifiable as they are today. In fact, recently released Employee Retirement Income Security Act rules for pension funds mandate that nonfinancial rates of return are part of the fiduciary responsibility of plan managers. This wouldn’t have been the case 40 years ago.
Viewing economic inputs differently, as part of a change for the better, is taking off thanks to our ability to better measure impact.
In the future, we will see captains of industries and business leaders realize their social actions and rates of return are connected. They will invest differently, and they will each find a way to quantify returns on positive personal responsibility and self-image. This will create a basis for how companies should conduct themselves. Leaders will think more about their employees and customers, and then will watch how that translates into a rate of return ultimately tied to their evaluation, expansion, and consumer loyalty.
Leaders will think more about their employees and customers, and then will watch how that translates into a rate of return ultimately tied to their evaluation, expansion, and consumer loyalty.
In regard to entrepreneurialism, more innovators will step out of the box. Leaders will put forth different messages and dare to be better than the businesses of the past. Creativity and innovation have made the U.S. what it is today, and as we move forward, we will prosper as we further pursue radical commitment to creating a better world.
The guiding principles of Kingonomics drive corporate social responsibility to the forefront of everyone’s mind, and companies that don’t consider it could lose future revenue. So how can a business leader integrate these principles into his company?
Incorporating Kingonomics for a Better Future
Leaders and decision makers can use Kingonomics to open more lines of business and build revenue and growth. While not every guiding principle will speak to business leaders, they should still familiarize themselves with each principle to see which would fit in best with their businesses. Use a few of the following tips to translate those guidelines into action:
1. Start from the beginning.
If you’re a new startup, this will come naturally, but for older organizations, go back to the thought process that started it all. What was the goal for creating the company? What were the main strategies for building the organization?
Don’t throw out all preexisting methods of growth; instead, integrate a new mission statement and establish more socially conscious goals to begin the evolution process. Microsoft, although founded many years ago, regularly takes a step back, reviews its goals, and moves toward making a bigger social impact.
2. See the world with new eyes.
The guiding principles of Kingonomics shouldn’t be read and then tossed aside. Change happens when a deep understanding of the implications and thoughtful actions coincide. View each day as an opportunity to learn something new and every interaction and decision as chances to pursue the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.
3. Incorporate radical transparency.
Social media and the Internet have allowed for radical transparency, something Sampson couldn’t have predicted when creating the principles. This openness has created immense potential for building and maintaining trust and accountability for organizations, regardless of age or size. A great example has been Equifaxsponsoring its own Kingonomics program in Atlanta, where it will invest in the community and use the open platform to inspire teenagers.
If entrepreneurs and corporate leaders can create more education and awareness globally about how we should invest, view the world, and craft a more holistic approach to measure the rate of return, then we can construct what King spoke of so many years ago: a world of opportunity and equality for all.
Vincent Molinari is the co-founder and CEO of Gate Global Impact, a leading electronic marketplace platform that’s helping the world’s leading organizations standardize and accelerate impact investing. Vincent is also a managing partner at Constellation Fin Tech, and he consults with members of Congress and regulatory agencies on issues related to capital markets, early-stage companies, and secondary market liquidity.
Vincent Molinari on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/vincent-molinari/2a/a07/357
Vincent Molinari on Twitter: @VinceMolinari