Making a Difference, Not Just a Buck
At it's best, business can be a force for real positive change. Making a profit is always important. But that's not the same as making a DIFFERENCE. All businesses that look to make a difference tend to have committed team members that think about their jobs beyond the 9-5. Their families and friends tend to be brought back INTO the business and vice versa.
I've been working in various businesses well over 20 years and I've yet to meet the business that can leave it at the door at quitting time or the employees that "leave home at home" when its go time on the job. I accept the fact that life is more shades of grey than black and white...but I digress!
So a short story of just that: The outside world that's coming into PAVERART......and hopefully PAVERART giving BACK to the outside world.
Outside World Comes in...
Chris, a PAVERART team member, came to us one day and mentioned the following: "I've got a friend...her son happens to have autism, the mom (Tiffany) is a hell of an advocate...and I've been sketching this concept, what do you think?"
It doesn't take much to excite me, but new ideas and advocacy will grab my attention. Chris couldn't have combined two better elements! New Business ideas for a growth-oriented business owner are a "no-brainer." But advocacy?
Why? My daughter, Hope happens to have Down Syndrome (and my wife and I have multiple family members with Autism). And Mike's sister Patty Ann also has Autism. Mike & I discussed this element of our lives the first day we met.
Are we not all 1 or 2 degrees away from someone with special needs? The decision was made...
"Bring Tiffany in, we would love to meet her and hear her story!"
Enter Tiffany Scovern. Mom to the amazing young boy Cameron.
Tiffany is what I describe as "mom on a mission."
Chris, Mike, Tiffany and I met to get to know each other and our common bonds. I learned plenty that day.
"NJ has the highest autism rate in the country....now at 1 in 34 children."
And we learned a new term:
"The term NeuroDiversity refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions in a non-pathological sense. It was coined in 1998 by Australian sociologist Judy Singer and the concept was popularized by herself and American journalist Harvey Blume." Wikipedia
Meanwhile, Chris gets to work with Brian on some concepts to make a PAVERART representation of the iconic Autism Puzzle Piece. We thought it came out great. 12" by 12" and 5 bright colors.
But as is usually the case when people work together...one thing tends to lead to another. Brian says something pretty telling:
"You know, we always describe the process of making PAVERART as a series of puzzle pieces, which is exactly like this. Why don't we try and make a series of small pieces and see what happens."
So Brian did. And here's what we produced and how it looks at Tiffany's home:
Back to team PAVERART and our "Mom on a Mission."
What are we trying to do?
How can we create awareness to the topic of NeuroDiversity?
Who can we partner with?
Enter our community leaders...
The great people of Gloucester Township including the town leaders and the Police Department. You couldn't ask for better partners to begin the journey of promoting positive awareness of
In short, we are just getting started. But we've made big strides.
* We came together to develop a PAVERART NeuroDiversity design that captures the essence of what we are trying to do:
Gloucester Township + the Police Department.
The original design elements of the large and small iconic puzzle pieces. The pops of color and great contrast.
What do you Think?
As you can see, the design is built and will be installed in the near future. More importantly, we'll be working to promote the meaning central to the design with the town leadership and police department. Can't wait to share more as that unfolds...
Efforts like this are at times overwhelming.
How much can a small business really do?
A bunch. But it takes partners. And Employees. A Mom on a Mission always helps.
Maybe most important?
The Inspiration of the world's Cameron's, Patty Ann's and Hope's.
If you'd like to learn more about NeuroDiversity in the workplace, here's a great article from the Harvard Business Review, Creating a Competitive Advantage through NeuroDiversity:
And a great 4 minute video on "Johnny the Bagger" making a big difference