Tag: Purpose

Is the tide turning on the purpose of the corporation?

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

In January this year, I wrote a series of articles around rethinking the purpose of the corporation, then moved towards rethinking the “triple bottom line” (that dates from 1994) to the “new triple bottom line”, expressed graphically above. The article that captures that and links to my earlier posts is:

Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.

This month, August 2019, the Business Roundtable of CEOs of some of the largest corporations in the USA, published a one-page statement called: “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation“.

This appears to mark a major shift in thinking, does it indicate that the tide might be turning?

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You are what you measure – so what do you measure?

TED Nicola Sturgeon what do you measure

“..the objective of economic policy should be collective well-being: how happy and healthy a population is, not just how wealthy a population is.” 

~ Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, TED Summit, Edinburgh, July 2019

As UK government and politics, in general, continue to flail along with no clear sense of direction or what success would look like, earlier this week, on the day that the new Prime Minister chose to visit Scotland, a TED Talk that was given last week by the First Minister of Scotland was released. What a stark contrast in leadership it offered and in what two countries (the UK overall and Scotland separately) seek to measure.

Long-time readers will note that in amongst the shorter and often more eclectic daily posts I intersperse longer and deeper reads, often around Economics and, more specifically the future of both Economics and Capitalism in service of the broader society.

So, today share the video and transcript of Ms Sturgeon’s powerful talk, then connect that to some earlier posts and thoughts of my own on what we measure.

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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.”

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The power of an upwards spiral

openness and trust upwards spiral

Trust is at the core of all relationships.

My underlying theme on this site I call #OpenLeadership, as being Open is at the heart of what I see as the new paradigm of Leadership, one of four core attributes detailed on the #BeMoreYou page.

I also love “Virtuous Circles”, my favourite being the one below from Gaping Void and that was the first of many framed prints from Hugh McLeod that filled the walls of our business in Cayman.

inspire_beinspired

So, I love the image above of an Openness and Trust spiral, as a virtuous circle is really a 2D representation of a 3D upwards spiral, where both elements feed each other to higher and higher heights. Trust builds Openness, which builds more Trust, which builds even further Openness etc.

I close with another virtuous circle, that of the “Scale for Impact” model, or “new triple bottom line” where Purpose+People+Planet leads to Profit, which can then be reinvested for Scale to create ever more Impact through that focus on Purpose+People+Planet and so on.

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

Why Purposeful Companies Create Value for All They Serve

purposeful companies return on investment

What’s the ROI of Purpose? 6 Steps to Take Toward Better Business: Why Purposeful Companies Create Value for All They Serve #BtheChange via @ConsciousCoMag
— B Corporation (@BCorporation) June 8, 2019

The universe of people committed to helping leaders lead from Purpose is still a relatively small one, so I loved that I came across this tweet from B Corporation, then when I clicked through, it was by Laurie Bennett of Within People, who I came across at the Meaning Conference last year, having known two of the partners in his business for some time.

In my work I typically support leaders 1:1, with this regularly involving extending this to their teams. As with Within People, we both work with leaders around people, culture, stories, engagement and more. In short, love their work!

This week I’m on a roll around Purpose being at the heart of business as a force for good. Two days ago I wrote: “Doing the right thing can make you more money” and yesterday I wrote: “Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line“.

In that latter post, I promised that today I’d curate an article by Laurie Bennett, so here it is, chockful of links to real-world examples of businesses that put Purpose first, with Profit not as a driver but an outcome that then allows them to scale their impact.

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Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line

Many will be familiar with the “three Ps” of the concept of the triple bottom line:

Profit, People, Planet

My career dates back over thirty years, focussed very much on growing businesses, which does mean making profits to enable them to scale.

Sometimes growing profits is really hard work, making scaling hard work.

Over time I worked out that it is far easier to scale if you put Purpose at the heart of your business, hence a while ago I came up with a new triple bottom line, of:

Purpose, People, Planet

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Who can you introduce?

UnconciousBias-Square

Hi. My name is Tom. I’m 53, white, male, tall, straight, middle class, university educated, professionally qualified and a native English speaker from the developed world.

Every single one of those reasons gives me socio-economic privilege, put them together and the relative privilege I have by accident of birth alone is quite staggering.

I also have both conscious and unconscious biases. By the nature of the terms, I can look to take action from aware of my conscious biases, but addressing unconscious bias is more difficult.

Today an idea around a way any of us can look to address unconscious bias in support of others who don’t look like us. (more…)

Who are you?

Identity: who are you

Who are you?

Simple question, but identity can have many elements.

Imagine you lead a business where lack of collaboration and trust is a constant struggle.

“Who are you?” is a great question to ask and answer to support trust and collaboration. (more…)

Why (and how) capitalism needs to be reformed

why capitalism needs to be reformed

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Capital has a personal net worth reported to be over $18bn, sourced from his hugely lucrative hedge fund business.

When he wrote a 7,500-word opinion piece this month called “Why (and how) capitalism needs to be reformed”, this created a stir for sure. I don’t agree with all of his points, but I find it powerful that someone who has made billions from capitalism will now speak so clearly about how the entire system needs reform.

With approaching 600 daily articles on this site, themes keep repeating, plus there is always an element of curation of ideas, sometimes simply sharing something I’ve read from others with minimal added opinions of my own.

Two points only from me today before sharing Ray Dalio’s article:

  1. Inequality and the need to reform capitalism are repeated themes for me on this site. Curating some of my own articles on this, start with “Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.“, “Income inequality – history is a teacher“, “CEO Pay and Ugly Leadership“, “Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and the Corporation“.
  2. Narrative is key to making your point. As I was taught long ago: “never make a point without telling a story”. Ray Dalio makes his key points in the first four paragraphs of his article, as not everyone will read 7,500 words. He also begins right away with a story. For more, read “There I stood on the burning deck“.

Oh, and Ray Dalio also created the wonderful “How the Economic Machine works”. If you’d like to get a distilled understanding of Economics, watch this 31 minute video. (more…)

Doing what is right – Pret

pret

Ken Blanchard has a quote: “catch someone doing something right”.

I believe in business as a force for good, and in the righteous flywheel of purpose-lead businesses following the new triple bottom line and so creating profit for impact.

I’ve started writing posts about businesses I see “doing what is right”, most recently Timpson and Stantec.

Today I highlight Pret a Manger. Given the prevalence of their stores in London, I’ve been a frequent customer, yet I was not aware until recently of their focus on doing what is right.

Until, that is, I saw their focus on supporting homeless people.

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Profit for Impact

TM Profit for Impact Graphic v3_B

In January I wrote: “Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.

That article puts forward that it is time for a new triple bottom line, one that creates:

“a “Righteous Flywheel”, where the unerring focus on Purpose+People+Planet as drivers allows the corporation to make Profits, which mean it can then focus more on Purpose+People+Planet and so make more Profit, and so on in a “virtuous circle”.”

It also links to three further articles, each with a case study of a company of scale that has lived this and proven that it creates the righteous flywheel.

At the time of writing, I noted that I’d love to create a graphic to represent this. Well, with the creative skills of Martha Rowe (who has done all the graphic and web design for me for some time), now we have one here. Thank you Martha!

Put as a formula:

Purpose + People + Planet = Profit

However, the formula looks like an endgame of profit, whereas the flywheel graphic highlights that it is a cycle.

I’d love to talk to you about this, and to get more examples of companies operating in this way!

Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.

The phrase triple bottom line was coined in 1994, those three drivers being people, profit, planet. However, I believe it is now time for new thinking around the drivers of a corporation and removing profit as a source driver. Bold, yes, but please read on.

At the time of writing, there are approaching 500 daily posts on this site, all, directly or eclectically, around the themes of #OpenLeadership, #BeautifulLeadership. These concepts around leadership are invitations, provocations, to lead bravely and differently.

Kate Raworth, in her book Doughnut Economics, suggests ‘seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist’ and has just launched a competition asking ‘What’s the 8th Way to Think Like a 21st Century Economist?’

Today I submit my entry, that we need a new triple bottom line, one that puts Profit as an outcome of focussing on the Source drivers of Purpose, People and Planet, and I will give some proven examples of corporations that successfully have done this, all lifted from articles already written on this site. (more…)

Our Clarion Call to Beautiful Leaders and Makers

Alan_Moore_Beautiful_Business_Walk

A walk in Snowdonia: Image by Julian Calverley

Over the last several months I’ve begun a collaboration with Alan Moore.

This has, as a first step, extended to a nascent “Beautiful Community”. Thsi will be the first “pebble in the pond” creating a ripple that will ultimately become a movement around the philosophy of #BeautifulLeadership.

This movement will encompass everything from full-year transformative leadership programmes to one-day workshops, online communities, web summits, publishing, even documentary series.

Today I share with you Alan’s post, effectively our “Clarion Call”, a statement of Alan’s vision that signifies our intent to do our part in leading beautifully towards a more restorative and beautiful world through business and leadership.

Below is Alan’s post in full.
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Everyday Leadership and Legacy

Penny-McDowall-Andrew-Smiley

Penny McDowall

Receiving the Special Olympics North America coach of the year award 

I just got news from Cayman that Penny McDowall passed away on New Year’s Eve. The short instinctive note I sent to her husband Rod simply said:

Such a loss, and such a life. An inspiration and wonderful human.

Today, I feel moved to write about Penny, about her legacy, and about how we can all live and model what Drew Dudley call’s “Everyday Leadership”. (more…)

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