Creating IMPACT in today’s Turbulent World

How are you doing in today’s changing and turbulent world? Today, more than ever, I believe our ability to create a positive impact through business can be our guiding light.

Hi, I’m Catherine Rocheleau, founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and the creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint online program.

I work with socially-conscious and purpose driven leaders to align profit and purpose so they can create great cultures that inspire impact-driven employees to do great work in the world.

It is hard to go through our day without facing the implications of the enormous impact of COVID-19.  It’s impact on our ability to conduct business, deliver goods and services, and plan for the future.

Change is challenging at the best of times.  When we have so many unknowns, risks greater than we ever anticipated, unforeseen circumstances that are pulling the carpet out from under us, and our employees, customers, suppliers and our community, it is easy for panic and fear to set in.

As a business leader, I believe we have to step forward and be leaders.  We don’t have to have the answers. We may feels like our world is crashing, yet, we have a responsibility to our teams, ourselves and our business to take a deep breath and hit the pause button – if only for a minute or two.

As each of us, as leaders, takes a minute or two to pause, we can start the shift – the shift to one of calm, thoughtful perspective, and openness to accept what we cannot change, take action on what we can, and keep an eye on the future and what we can become. 

Most importantly we can also recognize how we can have a positive impact on the world around us. Yes, opportunity abounds. 

I encourage you to take a moment to recognize what steps you can do to make the world a better place.

We have been asked to engage in social distancing and self-isolation depending on potential exposure.  Right now, I am in the middle of my 14 day self-isolation period after travelling from Vancouver to LA for a conference.  I believe it’s the one thing I can do to help flatten the curve in the spread of the virus.

In light of the cancellation of in-person events, how can you deliver products and services to existing customers in new or more innovative ways?

My business can continue to operate virtually with my global market.  Some programs I offer have moved from in-person to virtual, without skipping a beat, and without a loss of value.

The up-side, I have been able to adjust my pricing as my costs are lower and this benefits my clients without harming my business – a win-win situation.

Another great idea is exploring how you can spread payment terms over a longer period of time to help reduce the financial burden of your clients.  When we can maintain a continuity of business, we create some stability for everyone we impact.

If business has slowed to a crawl, is it time for you to take time out to work ON your business instead of IN your business?  Would a strategy session or coaching help you get clear on next steps, any areas to pivot, and on creating a positive future.

For those of you who have employees or sub-contractors, working remotely can present challenges, however there are tools like zoom, trello, and so many more that can facilitate collaboration.

Delegating clearly with designate job duties, milestones and expectations will foster a sense of calm and prompt the right use of time for everyone.

Communication is critical between team members at any time.  However, when you are engaging in social distancing and remote working conditions It is even more important.   I recommend you implement daily huddles as a way to check in, set priorities, identify bottlenecks and opportunities, while also celebrating successes.  Huddles are easy to lead, easy to participate in, they are also time efficient and deliver a high ROI.  This is definitely a triple-win strategy.

Reach out to colleagues, clients and suppliers. Is there some way you can assist them? How can you work together to keep business operating during this volatility?

What about your impact initiatives?  Can you tweak them to help front-line agencies and causes that are struggling to remain afloat?

Can you transition cost savings incurred by operating virtually and not communiting or travelling to different locations, into donations to help non-profits.  Can you volunteer your time or expertise?

Linking your business successes, even in hard times, to your impact strategies creates a positive ripple effect that benefits your business, and all your stakeholders.  Be a leader.  Take positive action!  Make an impact!

Be safe. Be Healthy. Be Kind… and let’s make a positive impact in the world to make it a better place.

If I can assist you please do not hesitate to book a consultation call so we can explore options that work for you.

Profits and Purpose – They are not like Oil and Water

When it comes to embracing an impact business model, there are many questions that come to light.  One of the biggest questions I get asked is how do I balance my purpose with profit?

Hi I’m Catherine Rocheleau, CEO & Founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint course.

Contrary to popular belief purpose and profit are not like oil and water.  In fact, they are intricately linked.  

In the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance on Purpose and Profit, the authors stated …

“Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose—in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked. Profits are essential if a company is to effectively serve all of its stakeholders over time—not only shareholders, but also employees, customers, and communities. Similarly, when a company truly understands and expresses its purpose, it functions with the focus and strategic discipline that drive long-term profitability.” 

I think of profits as the fuel for your bus that allows your stakeholders to travel with you, and purpose as your path – your vision.  

If you run a for-profit business and want to use your business to create a positive impact in the world, you have the ability to re-allocate your profits to social/environmental impact initiatives. Although I have led non-profits both as an executive director and in a leadership capacity on the Board, I recognize my expertise is best suited to my “for-profit” endeavours.  I volunteer, mentor, and donate to non-profits who are better at delivering the change I want to support. 

However, non-profits are also businesses based on a strong mission or purpose.  As a non-profit leader, you most likely have a fund-raising plan to attract the money needed to drive your organization and deliver on your mission and purpose.

Funding, revenues, profits, capacity building are synonymous with the linking of purpose and financial status.

In order for business or non-profit leaders make a difference in the world I believe we have to shift our money mindset to one that reflects a positive relationship with a strong purpose reflected by our actions and how we back it up with adequate funding to make it happen.

I’d love to have you join me in the conversation on creating positive change through business.  I invite you to subscribe so you won’t miss future episodes.

IMPACT Business BluePrint for Socially Conscious Entrepreneurs

How to create a Thriving, Sustainable Business that Attracts Your Ideal Client and Team Members and Profitability while having a Measurable IMPACT in the World

I am really excited to be able to share with you an opportunity to take action on using Business as a Force for Good. As I move my business forward to become a Certified Benefit Corporation, I realized how many other small businesses want to make a positive social and environmental impact but don’t know where to start.

Hence IMPACT Business Blueprint. I’m starting this program again on July 11, 2019. There are 6 live sessions (each is recorded if you can’t attend live) where we share information, insights etc. and discuss your questions, have group coaching and more!

Learn More of the Details and Get Access to the Course Nowthis drastically reduced price won’t last!

NEXT COURSE STARTS — THURSDAY JULY 11, 2019 10 AM PST

Why I adopted an IMPACT business model


“Having a greater purpose and embedding it into the DNA of your business is critical to developing deeper relationships with customers in an age when creating meaningful connections is getting harder and harder.”


Trisa Thompson, chief responsibility officer at Dell

In 2007, I first became fascinated with the triple bottom line approach to business. At the time, I was working in healthcare as a consultant and could see the waste in that field everyday. I began the process to learn more. One thing was sure, I was passionate in finding ways to integrate this triple bottom line approach into my business.

The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial. Some organizations have adopted the TBL framework to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective to create greater business value. 

In 2010, I made a conscious decision to link my business activities directly with social and environmental initiatives. At the time, there was a strong movement to get business to adopt changes and be better environmental stewards. I branded my program “MoreThanGreen TM” to reflect my focus all parts of the triple bottom line — people, planet and profit.

“What gets Measured gets Managed”

Traditional business growth and success have metrics attached to programs and more, and these metrics measured. When a business adopts an impact model they also must identify the metrics for social and environmental initiatives to measure the impact of these initiatives.

Starting in 2015, I began the process of introducing metrics I could measure. They were small, easy to implement and measure. I began by measuring the changes I was making (rather than the impact these changes make). T

For example, I recorded the changes in the lightbulbs to LED, low flow toilets and faucets, use of transit and volunteer hours, donations to charities (as a percentage of gross revenues) and more. I used my website and blog to share the efforts and goals. Although this was a good first step is was not exactly results focused.

My efforts took a downward swing when I stepped away from business for almost 2 years. Since that time, I have take a proactive approach to evolve and advance my impact efforts and the systems and metrics to track these efforts.

I look forward to sharing more about the metrics and results in future posts. What I have learned along the way, is that combining impact initiatives with sound business strategies in a small business is good for business. In fact, it has been much easier and less time consuming than I once thought.

Prosperity Abounds!

So, why did I undergo this transformation? I strongly believe that when a business adopts practices that deliver a positive social &/or environmental impact they create a ripple effect that benefits the planet, the people in their organization and their community and their bottomline.

In fact, 60% of consumers say brands should make it easier to see its values and its position on important issues at the point of sale (engageforgood.com). We have shared our values and our sustainability and community engagement efforts on this website.

Becoming a certified B-Corporation is next on our horizon. This is a big step but one I am embracing with open arms. I believe that when businesses align their current practices with impact initiatives, activate and measure their efforts they will achieve significant results that create prosperity for the organization, key stakeholders, the community and the planet. Plus, these efforts attract new clients and employees who align with your values and efforts.

In future posts I will share more on our efforts to this goal. Going forward I am also committed to being more transparent in communicating our impact. Watch for our IMPACT Communique.

Are you a social entrepreneur or a small to medium business interested in taking a stand and becoming a better social &/or environmental impact organization?

Our online courses, coaching, masterminds, training and consulting services may offer the right solution for you. Book an Ignition Session to explore how we can assist in your transformation and evolution.

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