The beginning of the new bottom line

Time to redefine the bottom line: it's too blurry.

There is no bottom line anymore. It zigs, zags, and blurs.

Can we agree that there’s a category of enterprises that needs more concise branding?

Call it social entrepreneurship, call it social impact, call it sustainable development. That yet-to-be defined category (even beyond L3C) of enterprises that care less about its status as Profit or Non-Profit and more about the contribution it makes to our world.

That category that will look to any model for an example of how to bring an idea to a group of people – preferably a very large group of people – and get them to act. Maybe buy it, maybe volunteer, maybe invest.

That category of enterprises that look to create change no matter what it takes. Interested in investor returns? Fine. I’ll figure out how to make you a profit. Care about the mission before the margin? Fine. I’ll demonstrate that too.

I’ve been thinking about this category as forward-thinking people (not faceless entities hidden behind the soon-to-be ersatz veil of corporation) making decisions and innovating free from the simplistic and myopic constraints of maximizing returns for shareholders. Rather: people who wish to engage shareholders who care about realizing a return, and don’t have a preconceived notion of what return means.

People driven by a higher calling of value. Value redefined.

Afoot in this unbranded world is a movement to measure. Because it seems that no matter how much good we want to do in our world there’s a truism that won’t go away:

What can be measured can be managed.

And I’ll take it a step further: What can be managed can be grown.

And now let’s agree that if you’re interested in increasing the amount of change you’ll bring to bear in our world, growth is no longer an evil thing.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.