You’ve landed at the BSuite Podcast, an open conversation about keeping pace with the joys and challenges facing creative leaders in today’s world.
Drew Train is the co-founder and President of Oberland, a purpose-driven ad agency and B-Corporation headquartered in New York City. Drew has had the honor of working with large brands like Uber and The Blue Man Group. He expresses his mission of making “purpose the new digital.”
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Achieving B Corp status is something to be proud of.
To achieve Oberland’s B Corporation status, Drew worked hard, juggling multiple priorities, and examining the agency’s social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
That work culminated into a B-impact report, available for download on his website, that serves as a roadmap for other agencies and brands.
In parallel, he committed to walking the walk internally, hiring an HR person to help them close the wage gap and conduct an audit of their employee handbook while identifying gaps in policies and benefits. They sought out workplace training on mental health and unconscious bias and set up a committee to help formalize processes.
He shares with Anne how being a B Corporation has changed his approach to doing business, and as an extra benefit, it’s also one of the best social icebreakers!
There are benefits to transparency.
Drew asks himself, “What do I really need to keep secret within my business and why?”
While Drew isn’t going as far as to publish salary information, he is intentionally trying to create healthy communication and open conversations by sharing their profit and loss statements, payroll ratios, and going behind the scenes of their decision-making, even exposing what internal factors may have led to losing a piece of business, etc.
Digital has evolved and become more purposeful.
Digital is now an industry in and of itself. Thinking back to the times when there were just two guys sitting in a dark basement making money off of banner ads, we have certainly come a long way!
Drew believes that the crazier the world gets, the more you need to build your brand with purpose.
With the election around the corner at the time of this interview, he anticipates a surge of new resources and energy and pent-up desire for positive change if Joe Biden is elected.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK DREW
What does it feel like to lead a B Corporation?
How has your approach to transparency affected your team?
Do you feel more or less optimistic about the world since engaging more deeply into this work?
“It’s not enough to be purposeful. You also have to be creative and strategic and thoughtful.”
Link to Drew’s White Paper, Everything Changes When We Do