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We need poets for benefit corporations

I’ve been involved with Nativa in a few transformation processes of simple ‘for profit’ companies in Benefit Corporations (or Società Benefit in Italy) and today I can definitely say that the most important take away was a huge surprise. I could not even have imagined it before.

In the Before Benefit (BB) time, the preparation of the company Statute essentially required a legal expert who, being able to combine all the legal statements, could produce your company’s statute as output. A rigid, cold, boring list of blablabla to declare that your company’s scope (dream!?) was to make profit, as much as possible. Plus a few other clauses to regulate the standard operations of the company and some other likely impossible situations that could happen in the future.

In the BB time I participated in defining the statutes of a few start-ups. Thanks to the very first experience (for which I hired a legal expert), the following ones were simply based on a copy & paste approach with some slight differences to distinguish a web platform from a consulting firm.

Nowadays, with the breaking start of the AB (After Benefit) time, a lot is changing and some unpredictable consequences have occurred.

The double purpose, beyond profit, that the new legislation has introduced brings a new opportunity to life. Today you can declare the real purpose of your organization. What you stand for! What you really want to create and what impact you want to make in your life! What benefit your company will bring to society and biosphere! What will be the glue that will keep your people and all the stakeholders aligned in the future!

And ultimately… what do you have in your heart that motivates you and your organization to start a new venture, despite all issues, challenges, difficulties that you will inevitably face! Is it just longing for profit? Or is it something more than this?

In NativaCroqqernüborn and other companies that we started, this is not a topic anymore. We simply can’t imagine a different way to start a new business.

We sit together (for hours) and try to get out what we intimately feel inside up above the surface to express the purpose of the new organization. We run through a string of possibilities to get to the one that will represent our purpose. For the future.

And sometimes intents and feelings are so deep that we can’t find the right words to express them.

Same is happening with other teams that called us to share our experience and support them in the expression of their purposes and upgrade their company’s DNA for the new times. And .. incredible purposes were born, lines of beauty, unexpected objectives and unforeseen commitments. It is like being able to re-write the company genome. And everybody outside will ultimately enjoy the possibility to see what a company really means.

In After Benefit time we don’t need anymore legal experts to write companies’ Statutes, we need poets to express them.