After writing a Social Business profile on Synergy Enterprises, a consulting firm that helps businesses reach triple bottom line goals, we were curious what it was like running a "greening" business.
In the interview questions below Jill Doucette, Synergy's founder, shares where the idea for her business came from, how she entered the social enterprise sector, and how she keeps herself inspired and creative with SPINS.
4 Questions with Jill Doucette, founder of Synergy Enterprises
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
After greening the Black Stilt coffeehouse as a pilot project, I realized there were fundamentals that could apply to any business. What made the project tick was staff engagement, cost-effective initiatives and a strategic approach. Other businesses started requesting services, and it got awkward asking for a cheque made out to "Jill." So, there was a need in the market that found us.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
When I saw the amount of change that one business could create, there was nothing that comes close. Greening a business and immersing it in its corporate culture is very rewarding- and exciting.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
Namely: Professors (Monika Winn, Charlene Zietsma, Mia Maki, James Rowe, Nancy Turner, Mike Valente, Ana Maria Peredo) and uber-active, go-getter, super star peers such as Jamie Biggar and Naomi Divine. In the business world, I was inspired by Paul Hawken, Leith Sharp, Ray Anderson and Ken Robinson (to name a few). I saw cutting edge companies changing business as usual and got a case of FOMO. Fear of missing out. Being on the cusp of change makes everyday interesting.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
Oh yes. SPINS. Spontaneous Productive Innovation and Networking Sessions. They are brainstorms prompted by a new idea, change in the market, or new opportunity. The team gets together, with blank paper, a blank whiteboard and colored smelly pens (very important). Creativity happens when we are in that setting and able to bounce ideas off one another without an agenda, timeline, outcome, objective or goals. Those come after the SPIN.