Ben & Jerry's Double Dip by Ben Cohen
Lead With Your Values and Make Money, Too

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Synopsis

"If it's not fun, why do it?"

For many years Ben & Jerry's has donated 7.5 percent of its annual pretax profits to charitable causes -- the highest percentage of any publicly-held company. Yet the company has become an even more powerful agent for social change by embracing a "values-led" business philosophy. Values-led business is based on the idea that business, which has become the most powerful force in society, has to accept responsibility for the welfare of that society and the people in it. Values-led business is more encompassing and therefore more effective than philosophy alone. It also seeks to maximize its impact by integrating socially beneficial actions into as many of its day-to-day activities as possible from raw materials to retailing. In order to do that, values must guide a company's mission statement, strategy and operating plan.

Ben and Jerry write: "When we first decided to open an ice cream parlor, our goals were pretty modest. With this book we admit to having greater aspirations. We're hoping that reading it will free up a lot of people to do what their hearts and souls have been aching to do -- integrate social values into their daily business activities. If you're a business person reading this book, we hope to demonstrate that there's an alternative to the status quo. We hope you'll see that it's possible to run a business in a way that proactively supports society, and that as you integrate your values more and more, you'll be just as profitable., if not more so. If you're a shareholder, an employee, or a customer, we hope to convince you to bring those values to your interactions with business. We hope to help you to become aware that there's adifferent, more caring way for business to be -- and as employees, customers, and shareholders, to demand that business be that way."

 

About Ben Cohen

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BEN COHEN Bennett Cohen was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1951. He met Jerry Greenfield,in junior high school in Merrick, Long Island. Ben's memories of his childhood include watching his father put away an entire half-gallon of ice cream at the dinner table; eating directly from the carton with a soup spoon. Ben also recalls creating his own ice cream concoctions by mushing up his favorite cookies and candies into his ice cream. Ben's first professional contact with ice cream came in his senior year of high school, when he worked as an "ice cream man," driving a truck, ringing bells, and selling ice cream pops to kids. In 1974, after several stints at various colleges, Ben moved to Paradox in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York State in 1974 to become a craft teacher at the Highland Community School, a small residential school for emotionally disturbed adolescents on a 600 acre working farm. Ben was there for approximately three years, building his own house and working as the school cook in addition to teaching pottery, stained glass, photography, film making, and the yearbook. It was there that Ben also started experimenting with ice cream-making with the school's students. Ben left the school in 1977 and decided to go into the food business with his childhood pal, Jerry. The two settled on ice cream and started performing research. They chose Burlington, Vermont as the second-best place to start their ice cream venture, mostly due to the fact that it was a great college town in desperate need of an ice cream parlor, and because their first choice -- Saratoga Springs, New York -- already had an ice cream parlor. Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor opened for business in May, 1978 in a renovated gas station on a busy street comer in Burlington, Vermont. As the business has grown Ben's jobs have included scooper and taste-tester, truck driver, marketing director, salesperson, president, CEO, not-CEO, and Chairperson of the Board. He's also had to learn all sorts of new and critically-needed skills on demand over the years, like plumbing, roof repair, bellybouncing, dangerous carnival acts, and the art of samurai pint-slicing. In 1987 he even wrote a book with Jerry called Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. Ben and Jerry have been recognized for fostering their company's commitment to social responsibility by the Council on Economic Priorities, which awarded them the Corporate Giving award in 1988 for donating 7.5 percent of their pre tax profits to nonprofit organizations through the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, and by the US Small Business Administration, which named them US Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988 in a White House ceremony hosted by President Reagan.
 
Published May 14, 1997 by Simon & Schuster. 304 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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