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Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change by Derrick Feldmann

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Chapter 6Creating a Movement…with and for Employees

Kim Jordan

Co-founder, New Belgium Brewing Company

Kim Jordan is not your typical company CEO. She has a unique background. Growing up in a liberal family, she was raised to be somewhat suspicious of profit-making, and profit motives were something to be leery of. As a social worker by trade, she started to look at profit-making a little differently. She saw a unique opportunity to use profit to advance social issues and to help employees in unique ways. She realized that New Belgium could be a conduit to address the beliefs of the employees and founders in a way that can be shared with consumers and the public.

One of the sayings that Kim has followed since her days at a Quaker high school has been “Let Your Life Speak.” She has used this mantra to guide their open book management policies that allow employees to see the accounting reports whenever they want. She also sees employee ownership and their policies on energy and water conservation as all unique opportunities to let the work of New Belgium speak for itself. Through their public action, New Belgium builds a brand that engages a group of similar individuals seeking to go beyond just drinking beer.

Kim believes that the movement to do good through companies has been going on for some time. From individuals like Gary Erickson with Clif Bar to Gary Hirshberg with Stonyfield Farms, Kim finds herself in good and growing company as more and more corporate leaders see the ...

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