Unlock the Infinite: Triple Bottom Line

Posted | Category: BRM Capability, BRM Community | Contributed

Tired of profits and losses dictating your next move? Worrying that the bottom line isn’t what it used to be? Do you know your organization’s bottom line? Does your leadership only focus on business and shareholder profits? Maybe you’re done with your company always pointing out the broken parts and not “seeing” the sturdy framework your team has implemented. There has to be something better than just the same old profit-and-losses bottom line.


Well, there is! It is called the triple bottom line.

The triple bottom line shifts the focus from profits, a trailing indicator, and changes the focal point to people, purpose, and planet, a leading factor for organizations to perpetually thrive. The triple bottom line is about the never-ending future of the organization—not its recent past. It’s a much more inclusive way to participate in your organization, and it encourages a more meaningful work environment while inspiring a shared ownership mentality.

In a relationship-centered organization (RCO), the basis isn’t about short-term profits and losses. The heart of an RCO is people, purpose, and planet, three crucial components to its triple bottom line. Value doesn’t trickle from the top down; it flows in from all areas of the organization. Organizations that embrace the triple bottom line see value multiply, profits increase, and shared ownership develop organically. Let’s take a look at the components of the triple bottom line in an RCO.

People Bottom Line

Imagine what could happen if an organization were to put the relationships between people over all else. The value gained is so much more than financial. When an organization puts relationships first in all things, great working relationships are built, limitless energy is created, and a shared ownership becomes the norm instead of the exception. People want to be valued; they want to be a part of something greater than the status quoWhen organizations put relationships first, value is generated through productivity, creativity, and shared knowledge. As the volume and quality of those relationships improve, the ability of the organization to create value becomes limitless. The quality and quantity of great relationships leads to a continuous supply of organizational energy to do great things.

Purpose Bottom Line

When an organization establishes a credible purpose, it builds meaningful relationships, which evolves the organizational culture while driving value in and outside the organization. Purpose isn’t an afterthought, it is a well-planned-out declaration that remains resolute. It answers the organization’s why. If an organization doesn’t establish its purpose, it won’t have the steadfast anchor needed to survive the torrent of growth and restructuring. People want to believe in an organization with a purpose that aligns with their own personal purpose. Likewise, when customers believe in an organization’s purpose, they stop buying just a product or service, and instead, they wholeheartedly advocate for organizations that reflect their passion and values. In the triple bottom line, purpose provides infinite longevity and gives context to those relationships that are nurtured through the people bottom line.

Planet Bottom Line

The planet bottom line focuses on the betterment of the future state in which the organization exists. The universe and planet we live on is infinite in potential, but at any given moment, it’s limited to our current understanding of it. How we live today impacts future generations. Naturally, as we reconsider our relationship with the planet and its resources, we add value to the community and promote sustainability, while at the same time advocating for the well-being of our planet and people. An infinite-positioned organization like an RCO and forward-thinking leadership do what they can within their power to change how they do business in regard to our planet, not only for today, but for all time.

How can an organization become infinite?

People get involved in high-quality relationships with one another with the idea of satisfying a compelling, ever-lasting organizational purpose. As those relationships grow in number and quality, they foster a purpose that involves the betterment of the planet for all generations to come. As infinite organizations are moving from a singular bottom line to a triple bottom line, the leaders of tomorrow are beginning to understand that in order to take their organization into the future for generations to come, they need to break away from traditional business-as-usual thinking and look forward to the relationship-centered organization.

Looking for some organizations that are on the path to the triple bottom line? Here’s a handful to check out.

Want to introduce the triple bottom line to your organization?

Are you interested in building strategic partnerships while working to evolve the culture and create an infinite mindset within your organization? Leaders, are you noticing a loss in productivity, a decline in personal “buy-in” from your employees? Are you struggling with how to converge teams/departments in your organization? Are you experiencing a fractured culture?

Discover how to evoke permanent change in your organization.

Visit BRM Institute

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