Note: This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the One Strategy chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on their corporate strategy.
TOMS® (www.toms.com) started as a simple shoe company, but has diversified into eyewear, coffee, and childbirth services.
They changed the world with their One for One® Business Model.
While vacationing in Argentina in 2006, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need.
TOMS calls their unique business model “One for One®.”
Since its inception, TOMS has provided over 60 million pairs of shoes.
TOMS Eyewear launched in 2011 and has helped restore sight to over 400,000 people.
In 2014, TOMS expanded into coffee roasting and uses the proceeds to provide a one-week supply of water to a person in need.
At first glance, the business strategy would seem to violate the basic corporate strategy principle of focus.
After all, what do shoes, glasses, and coffee have in common?
All of TOMS’ businesses operate with the same One for One business model. It is their inspiring raison d'être that keeps them aligned.
In 2014, TOMS sold a 50 percent equity stake in the company to Bain Capital. Private equity firms are generally not known for their social consciousness, but here is how Mycoskie described the deal:
“We need a strategic partner who shares our bold vision for the future and can help us realize it. We’re thrilled that Bain Capital is fully aligned with our commitment to One for One, and clearly they have the expertise to help us improve our business and further expand the scale of our mission.”
In fact, the terms of the deal specified that the One for One approach would always be part of the TOMS business model.
Like TOMS, your company has a business model. For TOMS, their unique business model is 100 percent aligned with their unique purpose.
What is your company’s business model?
NOTE: One for One® is a trademark of TOMS shoes.