Here’s the lie: Green Business Lie #6: Profit, Climate, or Market Share: pick two.
Here’s the truth — excerpted from The Truth About Green Business
TRUTH 6: Profit and purpose
“It’s not a fleeting fad,” says Natural Logic senior associate Christine Arena, author of The High Purpose Company. “These companies are investing money in a way that creates social, environmental, and financial value. They can’t afford to stop investing in this higher purpose.”
What you need to do—How do you “invest in purpose”? And make it practical? And profitable?
■ Keep your eye on the ball. Make your purpose visible and present in your everyday conversations. Serving your company’s purpose should be a continuous, systematic practice, and all too often, companies visit the question of purpose only in retreats or mission statements.
■ Put plans, alliances, and designs to the “Purpose Test.” Does this option move you toward or away from your purpose? Identify activities that don’t fi t your purpose and drop or change them.
■ But don’t drop the profit test. You won’t stay in business—no matter how noble your purpose—if you can’t pay the bills. (Just remember that paying the bills isn’t the purpose of your business.)
■ Tell the truth—to your employees, stakeholders, and customers—and yourself. This means clearly communicating your purpose, truthfully measuring whether your actions and results support that purpose and bringing them into alignment when they don’t.
■ Don’t compromise. There’ll be plenty of people who’ll tell you that purpose is pie in the sky and will cost you money. I don’t believe them and neither do the best business leaders I know.