Culture Journey: Achieving Sustainable Innovation and Principled Performance in a Morally Interdependent World

Culture Journey: Achieving Sustainable Innovation and Principled Performance in a Morally Interdependent World

Friday, November 29, 2013 - 10:35am



(Justmeans/3BL Media) -- "If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity," Winston Churchill declared in a speech in 1954, "they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another."{1} Considering the fact our society is more interconnected—and in many ways more transparent—than it was sixty years ago, the British Bulldog's prescription for a healthy society is arguably more relevant today. 

Behavior is central to LRN, a good governance company whose research has found that "trust, shared values, and a deep understanding of a purpose-inspired mission are the three fundamental enablers of self-governing behaviors that produce competitive advantage and principled performance."{2} Over the course of its 20-year history, the company—which has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Mumbai—has worked with over 700 companies and some 20 million employees, helping develop strategies to inspire good behavior, strengthen leadership, navigate the complexities of regulation and foster "do it right" cultures, all with a goal of creating sustainable innovation and growth that translates into economic value. As the company says on their website, "We are not a business with a mission, but instead a mission with a business."

In advance of the recent Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, LRN took some time to reflect on a CGI commitment they made in 2011 to extend their mission to pro bono work with the NGO sector. That commitment entailed launching two very different non-profit organizations on what LRN calls "culture journeys"—journeys to make culture a core part of their strategy for flourishing in the new dynamics of the 21st century.  In a case study released in September, LRN describes their culture journeys with the two selected non-profits—Population Services International (PSI), a global health organization with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV AIDS, tuberculosis and reproductive health; and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international organization that provides entrepreneurial training and educational programs to young people from low-income urban communities. The case study explains the commitment, the challenges, the objective of the journey, the lessons learned, progress updates after two years of work.

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Reynard Loki is a Justmeans staff writer for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. A co-founder of MomenTech, a New York-based experimental production studio, he maintains the blog 13.7 Billion Years and is a contributing author of the publication "Biomes and Ecosystems," a comprehensive reference encyclopedia of the Earth's key biological and geographic classifications, published in 2013 by Salem Press.