Richard Branson has accomplished a lot in his lifetime. He has created a successful music label, founded his own airline and is close to simultaneously constructing and monopolizing the orbital space tourism business. However his newest venture, the B Team might be the most ambitious yet. Using his hand picked team of world-class business men and women, Branson hopes to turn the tide on capitalism by implementing The B Team, a non-profit that encourages triple bottom line thinking as well as other sustainable practices n the for-profit sector.
While what Branson is doing isn’t exactly unique or original, it is good to have someone who has a history of taking a passionate idea and making it a reality. His team, which includes tycoons such as Jochen Zeitz (Puma) and Ariana Huffington (Huffington Post), is well assembled as it spans a diverse group of business sectors and nationalities.
The organization made its debut last week through a live global webcast of ‘Meet the B Team’. The HUB London participated through a screening at Hub Kings Cross. From that, topics of focus included the influence of the B Team on achieving these goals, keys to systematic and scalable success for business that embody ‘Plan B,’ and reflections on the organization’s charter. You can see one follow up opinion piece here by Hub Kings Cross member Brendan Martin.
While it never hurts to have well known big-shots in the corporate world advocating for sustainable practices, one can’t help but be concerned by the abundance and lack of success of such organisations. It’s easy enough for CEOs and Presidents of Fortune 500 companies to issue a call to action in the for-profit world. What they might not quite get is that to reverse the direction of an institution is much more complex than it might seem Many people have tried and failed to eradicate capitalism as we know it. The B Team will have to accept and adjust to meet such a challenge. They’ll have to practice what they preach as they advocate for a new form of business that will no doubt deviate away from the current direction that most enterprises are heading.
Still, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the potential of such a dedicated and talented group of individuals. Will they succeed at their goals? The odds are against them as they would be against anybody. However, it would be hard to pick a better group of leaders to throw such a challenge at. How can the Hub help? By continuining to lead by example through the encouragment and fostering of talented social entrepeneurs and innovators who are already employing Plan B. While none of them are Richard Branson, their passions and dedication to the cause, might not be far off.