If I asked you what the ‘bottom line’ was for your business, you could answer me, right? You would tell me that the business exists to serve a need and earn a profit.
But it surprises me that so few people have even heard of the concept of the ‘Triple Bottom Line’. I am not an economist nor accountant and I have owned my own, small business for very many years now, so I am always surprised, but polite, when I discuss this in training with a room full of senior corporate leaders and they don’t understand the concept.
The Triple Bottom Line is an accounting or business framework that takes into consideration the social, ecological and financial aspects of a business. In other neatly alliterative words, it considers People, Planet and Profits.
A business should exist to do business without hurting People and without damaging the Planet in order to achieve its goal of Profits. That is just the first level.
A good business should strive to serve People and Planet before producing Profits.
The achievement of profits for shareholders at the expense of retrenchment or abuse of people or the abuse and damage caused to our planet, is not ethical.
So what does this have to do with your LinkedIn profile?
Well a few years ago, after people expressed a frustration with not being able to demonstrate their commitment to these issues, LinkedIn created several new Sections to their Profile section.
Now a person can add a Section talking about about their Volunteering Experience as well as indicate Volunteering Opportunities that they might be interested in or Supported Organizations that they care about or Causes and Issues that are important to them.
Now the idea is not go overboard and talk about everything that tugs your heart strings when someone posts a heart wrenching story to Facebook.
This is about the practical things you can or have done, either independently or through a medium in your business, that adds practical value to another organization other than your work.
Our 94 minutes on Mandela Day does not count. Not unless you set up a project for others to become involved in.
But helping to coach small business development in your own time, does. Volunteering on a regular basis at a fund raising or support organization counts. Cycling, running, climbing etc, to raise awareness of causes and to raise money for research, that is all the kind of stuff that shows that you can move beyond your own concerns and have empathy, respect for and can offer actually support to people and our planet, beyond your own business interests.
Have a look at those fields on your Profile section.
If you can’t fill them in, then perhaps you want to do something about that.