Articles tagged "innovation"

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat: Working Towards an Inclusive Economy

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat

By: SheridanH@Lulu

Earlier this year, when we learned the 2016 B Corp Champions Retreat was scheduled to take place just down the road in Durham, North Carolina, the Lulu team went into overdrive, feverishly working to earn the 80 points required for certification. We were determined to attend the event and this past Summer we received our certification. Unfortunately for us, the planning committee decided to relocate the retreat in protest of North Carolina’s discriminatory law HB2.

So, instead of a 20 minute drive to Durham, we packed our bags for Philadelphia. Kathy Hensgen, Lulu SVP of Operations, and I flew to Philly to represent Team Lulu and the state of North Carolina as we know it – a community that may be imperfect, but is full of innovation, love, and determined to heal the hurt of HB2 and grow towards a more accepting society.

We made it. Sheridan and Kathy on retreat.

We made it. Sheridan and Kathy on retreat.

 

Because of HB2, I was worried Lulu would be treated like the embarrassing cousin nobody wants to sit next to at Thanksgiving. Instead, we were greeted with open arms and words of encouragement from other B Corps – exemplifying this year’s theme “Towards an Inclusive Economy.”

Here are some lessons we learned during the Retreat:

Business Can be Compassionate

We are not robots. Lulu is a business run by humans to help other humans create and share their content. We can use the humanity of our business to influence communities using a platform that reaches thousands of people each day.

Lulu may not directly cure diseases or end world hunger, but we can amplify the voices of our authors who take on these difficult issues. Whether it’s talking about issues of social justice or raising awareness about problems faced by our stakeholders, businesses should take a stance.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

So far, Lulu has scored 80 out of 200 points on the B Corp Impact Assessment.  That means there are at least 120 points of improvement remaining to tackle. We learned from other B Corporations the best way to guarantee continuous improvement is to create an internal team that holds members accountable.

This is not only a better way to get stuff done, but it also encourages employee engagement. Who doesn’t get fired up about their work when they know they are making the world a little better day by day?

Teamwork - How do we achiever our goals?

Teamwork – How do we achieve our goals?

Inclu$ivty & Diver$ity

We’d all like to say our work environments are inclusive and accepting.

However, if the workforce isn’t diverse, the business may be falling short of proactively reaching out to diverse candidates and using hiring practices like removing names from resumes and posting on a variety of job search engines.

If we wish to better serve our communities, businesses should seek diversity by recruiting employee from groups who are chronically under-employed such as domestic abuse survivors, veterans, returning citizens, and anyone who has been out of the workforce for a substantial period of time. The more perspectives available, the greater the chance we’ll have to resolve business questions and effectively serve our customers.

The best solutions come when everyone contributes.

The best solutions come when everyone contributes.

Telling the B Corp Story

At Lulu we haven’t been shy about our B Corp certification, but we haven’t climbed to the rooftop and shouted for the world to hear.

Authors and readers, we need your help. You are some of our most important stakeholders. The books you create and read with Lulu and our sustainable print-on-demand technology are crucial to our B Corp certification.  Choosing Lulu means that you are an advocate for environmental and social change. You believe in the power of for-profit businesses to do good.

So spread the word that you are part of this great B Corp family! You hang out with the likes of Lulu, Etsy, Dr. Bronner’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and many more. In fact, you probably have some awesome B Corps in your area.

We encourage you to reach out to those businesses and show that you’re in it to win it. The more momentum the B Corp movement gets, the faster we will achieve an inclusive economy.

 

Learn More About Our B Corp Journey

Lulu: Good for Authors, Good for the World

B Corp Update: Sooooo Close!

B Better Than Yesterday: Lulu Achieves B Corporation Certification

 

Better for Authors. Better for the World.

Better for Authors. Better for the World.

Press Release: Lulu Leaps Ahead of Competitors with Release of Solar-Powered Books

2016 April Fools

 

RALEIGH, NC – <April 1, 2016> – Lulu, the first and largest independent publisher, today announced a breakthrough in reading technology, the solar-powered book.

By incorporating this new technology into FSC Certified, acid and lead-free, premium quality paper, every page of a book ordered on Lulu.com acts as its own solar-powered reading substrate. The paper’s reflective qualities highlight the print in such a way that when a page is exposed to light, black text appears to float in a pool of white and colors seem to vibrantly leap off the page.

“By combining this affordable, cutting-edge technology with our global print-on-demand network, Lulu will once again disrupt the publishing industry,” said Lulu CEO Nigel Lee. “Despite the fact that I knew what our team was developing, I was gobsmacked when I held the final product. When I put it under the light, the page lit up clear as could be. What I didn’t expect was the warm comfort I felt when reading it.”

Following recent advancements in cell sensitivity, Lulu’s solar-powered books are not limited to use in direct sunlight, but are fully functional with LED, incandescent, fluorescent, firelight, candlelight and even moonlight on clear nights. This breakthrough ensures that students and readers everywhere can complete their assignments and even read for pleasure in any lighted space regardless of access to electricity or charging stations.

Beginning today, all printed books purchased from the Lulu.com bookstore will incorporate solar activated pages at no additional cost.

Continued Lee, “Light activation is indeed the future of reading and we are leading the way. I predict that solar-powered books will soon be the norm in every home around the world.”

To learn more or to order light-activated books for your home or business, visit: www.lulu.com.

UPDATE: As you may have figured out by now, this was an April Fools Day prank. The hoax being that all printed books are light-activated – i.e. cannot be read in the absence of light.

About Lulu

Since 2002, Lulu has enabled authors in more than 225 countries and territories to self-publish nearly two million publications. Our industry-leading tools and global community help authors hone their craft and publish printed books or eBooks for free, then sell them around the world via multiple channels. At Lulu, authors are in control, owning the rights to their works, setting their own price and keeping up to 90 percent of their book profits.

Modern Thought Leadership: three absolute must-have’s

 Modern Thought-Leadership: It doesn’t happen overnight

With the ever-expanding world of social media marketing influence, the concept of the modern day “thought-leader” has not only experienced resurgence, it has also enjoyed an expanded application of what thought-leadership is and can be.  Just last week, I had the opportunity to work with the awesome team at Prezi to create a kind of journey for modern day thought-leader.  Out of this research developed a pathway and three key, absolute must-have drivers:

  • Passion and Drive – a characteristic all thought-leaders share.  Not only do they have a new idea or way of thinking about something, they all posses an avalanche-like drive to share this idea with the masses.  It is what keeps them awake at night, what makes them attend every conference, present at every forum, and write every blog post.  You must have passion for the subject matter.  Want some inspiration?  Check out any TEDtalk.
  • Innovative Use of Tools – every influencer/thought-leader I’ve ever run across from Deepak Chopra to Guy Kawasaki have all utilized creative ways to spread their knowledge with new audiences.  This is now easier than ever in that anyone with an imagination and access to the web can find an audience.  Social media outlets provide ever-inventive opportunities for infinite sharing and connection.
  • Care about the Audience – yes, meeting your audience face-to-face after a presentation matters, book signings matter, interactive Q&A sessions matter.  In other words, the audience matters (A LOT).  The most successful thought-leaders realize this fact and take great care to not only reach out to but also elicit feedback from their audiences.

These three points just begin to scratch the surface of the path to thought-leadership but, truthfully influencers and innovators can come from anywhere…so, STAY MOTIVATED AND SHARE YOUR IDEAS! (also, checking out some of the steps summarized in the thought-leadership Prezi won’t hurt either.

What does modern-day thought-leadership mean to you?  How are you spreading your ideas?

Bob tells NBC17 the secrets to innovation

In a recent interview with NBC17, Lulu CEO Bob Young explains the secrets of his success:

  • out-innovate your competitors by offering something that doesn’t already exist
  • offer something that customers value more than price
  • distinguish your customers’ wants from their needs and deliver what they need

These are the points we keep in mind when we make business decisions, like updating our platform so that we’ll be able to move faster, consider more options and adapt more easily.

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