Ice Cream Social reader º 204 pages Download à hannahredhead

eBook É Ice Cream Social ¶ Brad Edmondson

Ice Cream Social Stakes devastating fall determined recovery and ongoing renewal of one of the most iconic mission driven companies in the world No previous book has focused so intently on the challenges presented by staying true to that mission No other book has explained how the company came to be sold to corporate giant Unilever or how that relationship evolved to allow Ben Jerry’s to I went into this book with low expectations about the subject matter The analyses of socially conscious businesses which I have read all point to business models that hope to turn an additional x% uptick in costs into a 2x% increase in margins essentially another marketing angleHowever the history provided in 'Ice Cream Social' is an excellent illustration of the social mission challenge from an insider's perspective something I haven't read beforeIn one way the story is one giant irony The final pages say that Ben Jeff and friends have realized that Ownership matters and chain stores are like invasive species to local economic ecosystems We need to encourage locally made ice creamBen Jerry succeeded locally years ago It is now an invasive species They could have survived indefinitely in their local market area and would have successfully been able to keep Haagen Dazs from becoming dominant in Vermont And they would have had a positive social impact locally Jerry would have been satisfied with that outcome Ben wasn'tBen Cohen is a businessman not a saint He had focus vision ambition He was a clever and bold marketer He also has his own political vision and pursued it with his money and time via the vehicle of his company Others do or have done the same such as Henry Ford or the Koch Bros to name a couple The personal ethics of Ben Jerry appear to be average They both achieved personal financial independence in the first growth phase of the company The only sacrifice they make for the good they want to achieve is to not be obsessed with accumulating even money again something I suppose most people would shareThe episode early in the book when they first tried to sell the company reminded me of the sort of story Donald Trump likes to tell They reneged on a valid and well understood contract in which they agreed to pay a broker a fee for finding a buyer and getting a full sale contract negotiated They change their minds after all this work is done and don't pay per their agreement They then defy a court judgement by uickly moving their cash across state lines thereby forcing the broker to forego his legitimate rights and accept a much reduced payment in order to avoid further legal fees Just as with Trump this is touted as business chutzpah They lost their business because primarily they were unsatisfied being a small locally focused business and wanted to be a BIG business with national and international distribution; and secondarily they made serious mistakes in executing the 'big business' plan they completely mismanaged the building of the St Albans' plant wasting a substantial portion of the funds they raised from new and non Vermont based investors; and they completely mismanaged the transition to 'professional management' by being cavalier about the construction and evolution of the Board and by being cheap but clever in offering new management an excessive amount of stock options With a bit in the cash salary they could have avoided the risk to control that such excessive options created So it is largely Ben's fault and you can understand why he was reluctant to relive it in interviews with the authorThat being said in the case of Ben Jerry in terms of their personal social mission they did in fact have some real impact which was not simply a marketing gimmick They took their social mission increasingly seriously and got out sized results given the size of their organizationThe attempt to estimate and pay a 'living wage' and to control the environmental impact of their suppliers led to real results results that coincidentally I happen to support However I think this says for Ben as a social activist than it does for his concept of a socially conscious business In a competitive market economy individual players are very very limited in their ability to set their own rules Only a profitable company is a happy company Even the employee morale surveys at Ben Jerry's showed a preference for 'traditional management' as the means to good wages Only a company earning an above average return for a substantial amount of time will be able to re direct a portion of its profits to objectives other than monetary return on investment Such profitability is rareUnder the Unilever structure with the uniue Ben Jerry's board and its explicit social mission the tension is simple and straightforward each year the uestion is asked whether the subsidiary's profits are high enough to allow a portion to be diverted to a social mission a mission which is allowed to exist solely to the extent it contributes to global brand value ie a marketing edgeThere is a self congratulatory tendency in the socially aware business community to treat one's own political priorities as self evidently true and good The implication is that we are making a sacrifice by not putting these profits straight into our pockets therefore our goals must necessarily be good for societyBut the reason we have representative democratic government is to answer precisely the uestion what is good for society So I confess I don't believe in socially aware businesses as a vehicle for change Every time I see Whole Foods Starbucks or Patagonia advertising their consciences my inner scrooge comes out And for many of them I know I'm right it IS simply brand marketing and the pursuit of a sentimental purchase at a premium margin I accept and applaud socially aware individuals as a vehicle for change some of whom may happen to also control businesses which are profitable enough to allow them the kinds of choices Ben Cohen was able to make And I welcome them putting their money where their mouths are For example one of the suppliers we used at a bank I worked at once was a small businessman also Jewish with a love of humor who actually made a real sacrifice in offering full health insurance to his employees His competitors didn't do that and in the local market he didn't have to And it came directly out of his personal earningsAs for social policy however I would far prefer a situation where businesses are allowed and encouraged to focus on one objective only satisfying the customer for their product or service c'est tout And the conditions under which they pursue that objective would be set politically via mandatory governmental structures that apply to all businesses National health insurance a 10 minimum wage increase and a 10% carbon tax will do a million times the good of all socially aware businesses combinedThis book was thought provoking and gave a good feel for the individuals and their decisions And it reminded me that not every social mission in a business is motivated by 'brand value' and the pursuit of upscale boomer purchasing powerI look forward to such works from Brad Edmondson

book Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social reader º 204 pages Download à hannahredhead ñ Ben Jerry’s has always been committed to an insanely ambitious three part mission making the world’s best ice cream supporting progressive causes and sharing the company’s success with all stakeholders employees suppliers distributors custPursue its mission on a much larger stageJournalist Brad Edmondson tells the story with an eye for details dramatic moments and memorable characters He interviewed dozens of key figures particularly Jeff Furman who helped Ben and Jerry write their first business plan in 1978 and became chairman of the board in 2010 It’s a funny sad surprising and ultimately hopeful stor This is not the kind of book I usually read but it was very interesting and made me think a lot about the power of big business I’m a social worker so usually don’t think about that

Brad Edmondson ¶ Ice Cream Social ePub

Ben Jerry’s has always been committed to an insanely ambitious three part mission making the world’s best ice cream supporting progressive causes and sharing the company’s success with all stakeholders employees suppliers distributors customers cows everybody But it hasn’t been easyThis is the first book to tell the full inside story of the inspiring rise tragic mi It's hard to really articulate how much I liked this book because my writing and verbal skills are less than spectacular I might even bypass the word like because reading this was about than just enjoying it I help run a successful and yet dysfunctional food cooperative in Asheville Although I both love and very passionately believe in the cooperative business model working for one isn't always easy When I first started there a little over three years ago I was to say the least extremely idealistic I thought that just because a business followed this model that everyone that worked there would be on board with all the principles that came along with it and everyone would work eually hard to accomplish the goals of a co op from the General Manager to the other managers and the board and even all employees working in the store I soon found out that this was not the case and after three years of disappointment my drive to work hard for the cooperative movement has started to wain That said this book shifted my thoughts to how a good company can continually fight to do good The story of Ben and Jerry's in a remarkable one From a small start up hippie ice cream scoop shop started by two guys in Burlington VT to a company that was doing over 150 million dollars in sales and all the headaches that come with a booming business in a capitalist system Ben Jerry's kept their promise to a three pronged bottom line Without going into too much detail about the history of the business the passion of not just the two original owners of the company but those who they surrounded themselves with is truly inspiring Rarely do I make notes inside the margins of a book but I had to have a hi lighter with me at all times while reading this book I found so much inspiration in the history of the company as well as uotes from many smart hard working and determined people who were and still are involved in the company They continue to this day to push for social justice in many different ways It really is a book that will eventually make you feel hopeful that not all big companies are the big bad wolf and that no matter what people say the food industry is a complicated place and just because a company sells their business to a big conglomerate does not mean that the soul has been sucked out of it A truly inspiring read and I feel like although it will take a lot of work and struggle I know there is good I can do for the co op I work for I just have to keep plugging away and look for ways to get people involved and make it the transformative force I know it can be I will for sure be adding this book to my work library and maybe sneaking copies of it into the bags of my staff in the near future