The connectedness of meaning allows ideas to be scaled

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line Meaning

A line from Nilofer Merchant’s recent LI article: “Don’t Be The Lonely Only” reads:

“when connected people can do what once only large organizations could; the connectedness of meaning allows original ideas to be (a) incubated and (b) scaled.”

The graphic above is my distillation to a model key to #OpenLeadership that I call the new triple bottom line, as I most recently wrote about in: “Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line“, noting at the end of that piece:

“It is my consistent experience that the more you focus on Purpose, the easier it is to make a Profit.”

I have followed Nilofer’s work for years and she has also been kind enough to take time to guide me on my own path of learning and sharing knowledge.

She and I share a passion for smashing the paradigms that hold back those who “don’t look like us” from fully contributing, sharing their ideas and more. Diversity of Thought is critical, it is a pillar of #OpenLeadership, yet the world continues to be dominated by the haves and have nots in so many ways.

Just as I note that the more we focus on Purpose the more Profit we can achieve and more easily (and so scale our purposeful impact), Nilofer notes in her article:

“New ideas matter; they rupture the status quo and incubate the future. At least half if not close to 70% of ideas are currently silenced or ignored because of the lonely only problem.”

I (and many others that I have quoted, including such as the Financial Times Economics writers) have written often about how our systems are broken due to forty-plus years of singular focus on profit in current paradigms of business and capitalism.

However, many factors in play now, some of which Nilofer writes of in her article, mean that it doesn’t have to be that way now, we can bring our ideas forward through connecting others to meaning and purpose, then create and build the impact of scale.

In closing, a key bridge is to connect current leaders to the profit paradigm in a way that makes sense to them. I do that by showing examples again and again of how a focus on Purpose first drives Profit to scale. Nilofer has done it in her article, as noted above, by showing that a system that does not reflect the value of “Onlyness” (for more see that LI article or her book of the same name) loses massive commercial opportunities.

I see a world of #OpenLeadership that is very, very different from the commercial world of today. Let’s start, though, by recognising that paradigms such as “shareholder value” (ie driven by profit, often short term in nature) can also still be supported by models and philosophies that honour Onlyness and put Purpose, People and Planet first.

Oh, and join me at Meaning Conference in Brighton on November 14, 2019, where Nilofer will be our host.

Also published on Medium.

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