On February 16 and 17, The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a special briefing and tour for the women of Mocha Moms, Inc. Over 350 Mocha Moms from various states participated in the two-day event, which was the first of its kind for the organization. For more information about the event, click here.
While the focus of the event was primarily on issues that moms could understand and share with their families and communities, there were also some key business points that were illustrated and shared. Among these were:
- Flexible work options - This is an issue for both employees and employers. The practice has not been adopted by all companies, but it was worth noting that is prevalent and beneficial in many organizations and institutions, including the government. As evidenced, by the educated, middle-class women present at the briefing, there is a level of un-tapped skill and experience residing in the homes of families who have made the decision to have the mom stay home with the children. Many of these moms would be willing to serve the needs of a company, in some capacity, if they could do it in a way that allowed them to be close to their children and home. This is definitely a win-win opportunity worth exploration for businesses of all sizes.
- Social media - This event was communicated through every social media outlet. There was even a Twitter chat following the briefing. At one point during the briefing, an administrator sent a tweet from his desk that he was heading to talk to the Mocha Moms. Social media is not just a way to socialize or another form of marketing, it is the medium through which news travels. Just another sign that it is not an optional tool for today's businesses.
- Community responsibility - Community responsibilty is not isolated to members of a community, but it is not the responsibility of the companies that serve, employ and sell within the community. Families are becoming more aware and more concerned about the ways that companies are contributing to or exploiting the community and the environment. Buying decisions are now being based not just on the products and services, but also on their integrity. Issues like - wellness, environmental safety and preservation, community revitalization, etc. are factoring into a company's attractiveness. As more information becomes available, this correlation would be expected to rise.
As you look at these three areas, think about how your business and your business plan seeks to address these challenges and concerns. Five years ago, each of these was a value-add, extra benefit - five years from now they may factor heavily into every buying decision. Make sure your business is looking at the big picture and planning to remain competitive.
Keep Moving Ahead!