10 Good Questions with KIND [Q&A]

Meet Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and founder of KIND Healthy Snacks.

May 11, 2015

Daniel Lubetzky in the KIND jeep. 

The KIND bar is more than a tasty treat; its name reveals its true mission – to be kind to your body and to others. CEO and founder Daniel Lubetzky is the visionary behind KIND Healthy Snacks, and since 2004 has sought to create healthy and nutritious snacks that do not compromise on taste. Invoking kindness into his business and personal life, this 10 Good Questions delves into what makes KIND tick and its unique model for business and social good. For more insight into the philosophy of KIND, Lubetzky recently published Do the KIND Thing - a handbook for success in business, life, building a more compassionate world.

1. What is your organization’s mission? 

KIND’s motto – “Do the KIND Thing” – is about doing the kind thing for your body, your taste buds, and your world. It stands for eating nutritionally rich foods without having to sacrifice taste, and inspiring kindness. But “Do the KIND Thing” is far more than just a motto. It is about the way we think and operate at KIND. When we talk about doing the kind thing for your world, this embodies our social mission of spreading kindness. We call this the KIND Movement and it’s been part of our DNA since the beginning. We believe kindness is inside all of us, and our hope is to help catalyze it. 

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

People often let circumstances force them into choosing between two seemingly incompatible options – like making a snack bar that either tastes good or is nutritious. At KIND we pride ourselves on creating new paths and models that avoid false compromises. Instead of “OR,” we say “AND.” Our ability to think with AND has been and will continue to be a key differentiator.

Tasty KIND bars. [Facebook]

3. Offices or open work space? 

Both – our office space is another example of the AND philosophy at work. The majority of our space is open, with dedicated work stations as well as communal areas. And, we have offices that surround the perimeter. 

4. What three words describe your organization? 

Empathy, Transparency, Ownership

5. What inspires you? 

My dad was my greatest hero and role model – and he is still a major source of inspiration for me. He spent some of his adolescent years in a concentration camp and survived the Holocaust, but he never let those experiences embitter him. Instead, he chose to live life with positivity and optimism. More than anything, he showed me the power of kindness. 

6. What is the best part about your job? 

We have an awesome team, and I feel so blessed to work with and learn from them each day. I find our internal meetings very stimulating. We’re always brainstorming and continually challenging ourselves to push the boundaries in terms of what’s possible. We strive to create a culture where a sense of ownership puts everyone on a shared path, where merit and good ideas trump seniority. We’ve found that when you create an environment where everyone is treated with dignity and equality, and people are encouraged to speak up and contribute, the best ideas tend to win. 

A KIND team brainstorming session. 

7. Does your team eat lunch together?

At our headquarters, we have an open floorplan in our kitchen with picnic-style tables. On any given day, you’ll see small groups of team members gathered together eating lunch. There’s definitely a family atmosphere. Our team has grown exponentially over the past few years, so it would be pretty difficult to get everyone together regularly for a meal, but we find other ways to come together as a full team. 

8. Facebook or Twitter? 

Twitter AND Facebook. Through social media, we can listen to and engage directly with our community – we can learn from them, but also directly address any questions or concerns.  

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization? 

Prior to the publication of Do the KIND Thing, probably less than one percent of our consumers were aware of our social mission. In the early days of KIND, we focused on our snack foods, and as the business grew, our social mission did not scale at the same pace. Now we are working hard to help the social mission catch up. We want to not only educate people about our mission to make the world a little kinder, but also inspire them to join us in this pursuit. We are just getting started and excited about what’s to come! 

The company stands by their motto “Do the KIND Thing.”

10. How can people get involved?

The KIND Movement is brought to life in a variety of ways. One way is through KIND Causes – a platform that we’ve created to advance kindness, online and offline. Anyone can upload their ideas to make the world a little kinder. Each month, the community votes for the cause that inspires them most. In order to do so, they commit to doing a kind act in their own life. The cause with the most support at the end of the month receives a $10,000 grant to make their idea a reality. We’re invigorated by the ideas we’ve supported thus far, and we are exploring ways to take this platform to the next level. 

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