leadership

Balancing profits with
social impact

By Cam Upshall, Director & Co-Founder
on August 26 2019
If you think social impact is just some touchy-feely thing to be ignored, then you're making a big mistake.
YOU, as a business leader, have a unique opportunity to shape the world around you. Pretty powerful thought, right?

Now let me ask you this: does your business have a purpose beyond making money? Do you develop your core strategies around your responsibilities to society and the environment?

If you've answered "no" to either of these questions, then you're not committing your organisation to doing greater good. And this could absolutely hurt you in the long run because industry trends show that A LOT of businesses are making genuine efforts to improve the world. They know in today's age of social awareness it actually makes a a lot of business sense.

So tap into what you know deep down: businesses impact lives on so many levels. Whatever business you're in, the decisions you make affect your employees, customers, and even entire communities potentially. Whether you like it or not you're influencing people so don't abuse that power. Use it as a force to strengthen your business and your leadership.

Societal impact TRUMPS financial performance
Get this: A recent report from Deloitte Global found that societal impact has become the most important factor organisations use to evaluate annual performance, outranking both financial results and employee satisfaction. The report was based on a large scale survey of more than 2,000 executives across 19 countries.

Now, this is HUGE because it tells us social impact is fast becoming the beating heart of many businesses.

What's more, leaders all over the world are actively pursuing a higher purpose, with almost 3 in 4 surveyed report having changed or developed products or services in the past year to generate positive social impact.
A recent report from Deloitte Global found that social impact has become the most important factor organisations use to evaluate annual performance.
What's driving this change?
Unsurprisingly, some businesses are motivated by promises of revenue growth because becoming socially aware can bring about money-making opportunities. For example, almost half of the executives from the Deloitte survey say their socially conscious offerings led to new revenue streams.

But it's not all about money (yes, really!). Some organisations are building social conscience into their culture because they want to attract the right people who will commit to their cause. Still, others predict public sentiment and external pressures are so intense that generating a positive social impact is necessary to sustain or grow a business.
Positive societal impact good for profits?
What's interesting is that leaders from the Deloitte Global report are actually split on whether implementing socially conscious initiatives will improve the bottom line.

Now, if leaders aren't sure that positive social impact will bring home the bacon, why are they all jumping on the socially conscious bandwagon?

Let me go back to something IOOF CEO Renato Mota told me in a recent podcast episode. He said: "Being a part of something greater than yourself is something people gravitate towards." He also talked about a powerful vision being one that "balances the analytical and numerical with purpose, belief and greater good".

I think Renato's points really encapsulates why purpose beyond profits can be so powerful - it can bring about genuine commitment and passion from your stakeholders, whether they're employees, customers or investors. And that can only lead to good things in the long run.
"Being a part of something greater than yourself is something people gravitate towards,"
Renato Mota, CEO IOOF
What does this mean for YOU as a leader?
So where to from here?

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, was onto something when he said that it's all about working out the kind of positive impact you can have that will also support your core business. In the commercial world, you simply can't afford to keep doing good things that are not relevant to your business.

So your job is to find ways to align positive social impact with your activities, and weave your purpose beyond profits into your vision, culture and strategy. Do this! Tell the world about the good you can do, and watch the number of your followers grow.

Now, if this article has made you think about how you can improve your leadership communication and make the world a better place, check out High-Performance Leadership app. It's a really cool way to improve and learn the art of incredible leadership - like having a personal mentor in your pocket. Jump over to https://trampolineplatform.com/hpl, get the app and become a better leader TODAY.

Want to be the best leader you can be? Drop me a line or leave a comment below!

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