Honest messaging and truth: thoughts on a recent interview with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia.
Thanks, today to Raconteur for an excellent interview with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. Three key thoughts from this, which I will link to earlier articles I’ve written on the topics:
- Be More
- There is no perfectly sustainable company, but we can always look to be more
- Be bold
- If you believe it, say it.
- Do the right thing
- “If you can create a company of honest messaging and truth, your customers will look to you for what’s right”
Of all of these, I highlight in particular honest messaging and truth. One should not need to highlight the power of being honest, but boldness allied with honesty is still rare and creates incisive impact.
From the Raconteur article, Chouinard says:
“We can try to do good, but it [perfect sustainability] is against the laws of thermodynamics; everything costs something.”
Once we embrace that we are imperfect, we can always then choose to “be more”. To be more of what we aspire to, whether that be around environmental responsibility (a major focus for Patagonia), or perhaps in honesty and transparency in our leadership.
For more on this, I wrote “Being More” to focus on the power of the word “more” to give permission to be who we are and where we are and at the same time catalyse change.
Lesson two of three from Chouinard in the Raconteur piece is:
“..don’t sugarcoat your message. Be bold. If you believe it, say it. Consumers are “really hungry” for their favourite brands to take a stance on issues of public concern, says Chouinard.”
I wrote about Patagonia some time ago as an example of a company that boldly chooses a path and has, by committing to it, found it has delivered both high impact to their commitment to the planet as well as commercial return.
As noted in the piece: “Patagonia’s Righteous Flywheel“, Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO, notes:
“Doing good work for the planet creates new markets and makes [us] more money.”
Righteous Flywheel indeed, and the result of bold choices.
Doing the Right Thing
The title of the Raconteur interview piece is:
“Brands must speak out to change the world, says Patagonia founder”
In my post about Patagonia, it notes how their consistent and authentic focus on doing what is right has a powerful impact for them.
This is a theme I come back to again and again (and will keep repeating as I still see very few corporations doing what is right and doing the right thing).
An example of this is Pret, my piece on them: “Doing what is right – Pret“.
Finally, back to my “new triple bottom line”. For my post on this see here, for the depiction, here once again is the graphic.
Also published on Medium.