How to Sustain Sustainability and Social Good: Larta’s Values
Social impact, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and a mission-oriented drive are all being expressed and re-asserted in the American social and economic zeitgeist. It is now not only advisable, but profitable for companies to lay a claim to the notion of “social good”. One third of the American workforce is comprised of millennials, who list organizational ethics and social responsibility as a top priority when considering a potential employer. As a millennial myself, I go further: in a moment where social impact is a useful (and profitable) buzzword, how sure can we be of the sustainability of the sustainability movement? Is the “goodness” of a corporation expressed primarily through the profitability or popularity of goodness?
Simply put, are you, as a company, for real?
Larta answers this question with a resounding yes. With a new year came a company-wide re-assertion of our status as a mission-driven nonprofit.
The “Larta Values”, conceptualized by a core group of Larta employees, Melissa Montalvo, Cindy Le, Claire Anderson, and Elizabeth Ul, are principles that dictate both internal conduct and external relationships with clients, partners, program beneficiaries, and, as we expand our impact, through the local community.
We Are Larta:
- L: We promise to be lifelong learners and leaders in innovation and technology.
- A: We are adaptable to the changing needs of our society and ambitious in identifying solutions; weactively implement them in our work.
- R: We are resourceful in supporting the entrepreneurs and communities we impact, treating everyone we encounter with a high level of respect and dignity.
- T: We are team players who embrace diversity and perform stronger together in adversity. We trust in the integrity, reliability, and fairness of each person and our organization.
- A: We embody altruism by showing compassion to ourselves and others and hold each other accountable to the highest level of moral and ethical business values.
So, how do companies sustain their initiatives toward social good?
- Instill values that grow with the company.
Melissa Montalvo describes the origin of Larta’s values: “As Larta grows, it is time to create a cohesive set of guiding principles that our team identifies with. Values are the guiding principles of how we operate, how we interact with each other, our clients, and partners, and ultimately, how we view our work.”
Claire Anderson adds, “Both personally and professionally, being mission-driven gives meaning in the day-to-day. When there’s a clear mission, I can step back and understand the importance of every detail; our mission gives me perspective and serves as a guiding light.”
- The key to instilling values in an organization? Personalization. Our values resonate with who we are, as individuals and as a team.
Elizabeth Ul identifies with altruism and accountability: “It is very important to me that any organization I work for acts with integrity. I can be a social change agent in any and all spaces that I enter and I carry this ideology with me in my personal and professional endeavors.”
- Your company is a sum of many.
Cindy Le views Larta’s values as an investment in the aggregate. “A company is only as extraordinary as its people and we want to build and nurture extraordinary people.”
The Values Committee has grown to seven members, in pursuit of a goal that outlasts the trend of the moment.
We are Larta, and we intend to set a standard for an internal team dynamic and external engagement that defines what it really means to be “socially impactful.”