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4 fundamentals of sustainable business growth: impact edition

March 12, 2021By

“Making an impact” is the new “doing good.” While doing good has been the basis of our CSI (corporate social integration) strategy for some time now, we have pivoted to making an impact to widen the scope of our actions. The word impact suggests the powerful effects our actions can have beyond the initial gestures.

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. That is good.
vs.
Teach a person how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime. That is impact.

Traction on Demand was recently recognized by Salesforce with the first-ever Partner Innovation Award for Social Impact. While doing good got us here, lately we have been focusing on “impact” as core to our CSI strategy. We believe the future of business rests on an organization’s ability to make an impact. And the impact we are making includes enabling organizations of all sizes to increase their capacity through digital transformation. Our ability to continue being a purpose-led organization rests on our four fundamentals of sustainable growth.

But a little background info first.

Traction on Demand Hires a Chief Impact Officer

The 4 Pillars of Impact at Traction on Demand

  1. JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion)
  2. environmental sustainability
  3. Traction for Good
  4. sustainable growth

Traction on Demand’s Impact Formula

The implementation of the first two pillars—JEDI and environmental sustainability—is becoming standard practice in many organizations. And while Traction for Good was established shortly after the founding of Traction on Demand, having a “for good” component is not unique—at least not anymore. But the four models that make up Impact’s “sustainable growth” pillar are very much Traction’s own creation, especially considering the momentum gained over the last couple of years. It’s worth mentioning the principles of the first three pillars are woven throughout the grander vision of “sustainable growth.”

From our inception, we knew we wanted to build a business that was about more than just money and jobs, that would carry more of a forward legacy and be responsible to its stakeholders and to the community in which it operates.Greg Malpass, Founder and CEO, Traction on Demand


4 Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth

1. Grow Fast: People

For several years, we have been recognized by industry leaders for our growth in profit and people. Our success in these areas stems from our belief that there is no profit without the dedication of the people who make Traction on Demand what it is. Traction is an inclusive partner and employer, welcoming everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and ability, among other variables. It is a safe space of empathetic and dialogue-driven conversations to exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences.

We’ve recently pledged our commitment to a diverse workforce by joining the Salesforce Talent Alliance, a recruitment program that connects businesses to candidates, all the while emphasizing building a diverse workforce that reflects our communities.Traction on Demand is also proactive in this space by not only creating jobs, but by also guiding those leaning into upskilling and reskilling through partnerships with universities and local nonprofits. Traction Access, which provides Salesforce training to newcomers and indigenous peoples, is just one of the many Impact initiatives.

Team members who come from a variety of backgrounds bring unique and valuable perspectives, which together positively impacts creative ideation and innovation in the workplace.Tanya Jarrett, Chief People Officer, Traction on Demand

2. Grow Well: B Corp

Growing Well is about continuing to build Traction on Demand with sustainability at the forefront. According to Jolene, the four B Corp Declaration of Interdependence principles have “very much been a guiding light for us.” As a B Corp, we constantly assess our business processes through this lens. Our commitment to our people has already been laid out above, but our commitment to the environment is also very much top of mind.

Every vendor Traction on Demand works with is scrutinized for their business practices. “From a procurement perspective, how do we ensure we are aligned? By asking the questions that have to do with JEDI and sustainability,” says Jolene. It’s by being discerning clients ourselves that Traction expects to be carbon neutral by fiscal year 2022 and carbon positive by the following year.

3. Grow Strong: Community

Growing strong is about recognizing the impact we can make in communities all over the world. Our Small Town Initiative is stimulating the economy and creating jobs in places like Nelson, British Columbia, that have traditionally depended on natural resources. By offering an alternative form of employment, not only are those communities no longer dependent on depleting resources, but Traction also gains a more diverse workforce, making us stronger in numbers, knowledge and innovation.

We recognize that philanthropy is an integral part of building community. Over the years, we have encouraged philanthropy in our people and built community through our Traction for Good initiatives, which include our annual Bandit Tour for Good and adopted school in Jaipur, India, where we have an office. We are also proud to partner with grassroots nonprofits and vendors who are also making positive contributions in their communities. Recently, we made a significant commitment to philanthropy by joining Pledge 1%, a growing movement of charitable action in which organizations pledge 1% each of equity, time, product and profit.

We believe that as an organization, we should be accountable to all stakeholders that we impact, not just to our shareholders… This traditional shareholder measure is slowly changing, and we are happy to be at the front of the change curve.Errol Olsen, Chief Financial Officer, Traction on Demand

4. Grow Right: Justice

Growing right is about ensuring that justice, equity, diversity and inclusion form the foundation of all the decisions that are made at Traction on Demand. We are doing this by ensuring our workforce reflects society around us. With Traction set to establish a presence in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jolene says this will create 100 jobs and, because diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of our recruiting strategy, we want the demographic of any new office to be representative of the city it's in.

The JEDI principles also factor in the way Traction compensates its people; we have taken the Pay Up for Progress pledge with the intention of closing the gender pay gap.

Sustainable Business Growth: The Path to the Future

We have long believed that doing good is good for business. But as we look to the future, making an impact is what will continue to fuel us.

As clients become ever more discerning about what they buy and whom they do business with, having a purpose will become the distinguishing factor that separates us from other organizations. But it’s not just about operating a business and making money, as Traction on Demand’s founder Greg Malpass says. Jolene gets to the core of why an Impact initiative exists at Traction:

While we use words like capacity, growth and efficiency, underneath it all is a passionate and heartfelt interest in making the world better.Jolene Chan, Chief Impact Officer, Traction on Demand

We welcome you to join us on our journey. Now here we GROW!

Learn More

All recordings from Traction on Demand's TimeToValue Conference, including Jolene's keynote, Time to Value Impact, are now available to watch online.