A Policy is a Path – Part 2: Planning Economic Sustainability into your Company’s Future
The other day we blogged about how we came to the realization that it was time for Savage to have a clear sustainability policy when a potential client for a sustainability report asked about our own policy. Fast forward a couple of years, and now we’ve worked to integrate sustainability into every facet of our work. We formalized a holistic policy based on three tenets of sustainability – environmental, social and economic.
Financial or economic sustainability is the most often overlooked branch of sustainability, but probably the most important. After all, if you can’t take care of your own bottom line, how can you serve your community?
We consider our economic sustainability policy to be about three areas:
- Be business-minded in everything.
We are stewards of our client’s budgets, so we manage every client’s account as if it were our own money. Long-term clients are important to the sustainability of any firm, so smart business decisions ensure the financial stability of our clients, and ourselves.
- Education is key.
Not only is professional development important to sharpen the skills we use in our everyday work, it’s also the way to keep employees challenged and engaged. We provide an atmosphere where employees can learn and grow by encouraging both formal and self-learning.
- Support the profession.
We firmly believe that it’s our duty as professionals to support our peers and our industry, for the betterment of all. A stronger profession helps all of us elevate the profession, providing credibility and awareness about ways in ways branding and design can have a positive impact on a business’s bottom line. This is why we devote so much time to supporting AIGA, AMA, APDF, NIRI and more – we believe in helping each other, which in turn helps all.
As we looked at the economic sustainability of Savage, we realized that these principles were already ingrained in our culture – after all, with forty years in business we knew how to keep a firm viable and growing. In fact, we had already taken an important step in continuing this culture and providing a stable leadership team for the company.
Most firms are led by one, or a couple of owner/partners, and once they reach retirement age, they can close shop, end the firm’s legacy, and leave its employees to find other opportunities. As a result of our founder’s long-term view into the future of the company, we have five principals who firmly believe in the sustainable culture we’ve created. This not only ensures the company will maintain consistency of leadership, but it provides our valued employees a place to grow their career.
Look for another post next week about our commitment to social sustainability and the work that we’ve done to help our community.