Clif Bar, an energy-bar maker, was founded by Gary Erickson in 1992 in Berkeley. He named it after his father. Erickson found the company because he did not like the taste of other power bars. A professional bicyclist and a former bakery owner, he was in the middle of a 175-long ride when he decided to eat some of the power bars he brought along. However, he could not swallow the last one. That was when he thought about creating a power bar that tasted good. A year later, Erickson launched the Clif Bar. He was able to grow Clif Bar into a “$100 million company” (Overfelt, 2003).
Erickson did not limit himself to the sole task of running the company. He wanted to “reduce Clif Bar’s ecological footprint on the planet.” He accomplished this by hiring a staff ecologist and starting the Project 2080 wherein Clif Bar’s employees are encouraged to volunteer on company time (Overfelt, 2003). The program became successful, especially since the company does not set restrictions around the program (Kushner, n.d.).
As Erickson considered the impact that his company can have on the environment and acted on it, at the same time involving his employees in the programs, Erickson was able “to find a way to maintain this open culture while we may be getting bigger.” Despite the growing company in terms of the number of employees, Erickson has shown how dedicated he was to his mission. He even offered salaries and travel expenses to his employees who would be interested to volunteer in Third World countries (Overfelt, 2003). The kind of positive attitude that Erickson showed was something that his employees can learn from. Even if there are more staffs to come to Clif Bar, as long as the employees keep in their heart the mission that Erickson started, they will be able to maintain that open culture.
Kushner, E. (n.d.). The greater goods. The Monthly. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from http://themonthly.com/feature12-06-clif.html
Overfelt, M. (2003). The activist Gary Erickson/Clif Bar. CNNMoney. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2003/10/01/353412/index.htm