Better Businesses

Contributed by: Show Editorial Team

The for-profit world will think beyond the bottom line, former Inc. editor says

James Ledbetter, Former Editor in Chief at Inc. Magazine interview with Matt Bird at Humanity 2.0 (Vatican City)

HIGHLIGHTS

-Companies are most struggling with data privacy, AI and ethics

-Business leaders are starting to look outside of just profitability to ensure success

-How can we use businesses to more effectively govern people?

It used to be that businesses were motivated strictly by profit. Not anymore says James Ledbetter, former Editor at Inc. Magazine. Now, businesses are motivated by social and environmental issues, not just because these issues can attract customer support that will boost bottom lines, but also because they are necessary for sustainability. 

“Now that these priorities have become more important with things like climate change and artificial intelligence, a lot of business leaders are looking outside of that strict profit motive,” Ledbetter told Matt Bird, Host of the Traders Network Show, at the 2019 Humanity 2.0 Forum at the Vatican in Italy. 

In other words, businesses have the chance to drive change in a way that was once reserved for governmental agencies. 

“As governments around the world struggle for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to deal with immigration, or because of authoritarianism, or simply an alienation from their own population, other forces from society need to help out, they need to take over some of the responsibilities that traditionally have been the role of government,” Ledbetter said. 

To bring about this kind of change, businesses need to consider their interfaces with people, Ledbetter said. 

“You have to look really, really hard at all the places where your business touches people—as customers, as employees, as community stakeholders,” he said. “Figure out what are the unique attributes of your product, your service, your brand that can be extended into a broader social mission that’s consistent with the brand, consistent with the way you make a profit.”

Such introspection could lead to innovative business models that are truly win-wins. Think about a buy one, give one model, for instance, in which one product is donated to charity every time a product is purchased.  

“It’s a great way to push your business agenda forward but also to do good within the community,” Ledbetter said. “New businesses and new business models will emerge as companies begin to take on these roles that were [previously] left to the government or NGO sector.” 

(Written by Andrew Waite; Editing and revisions by Nicole Liddy)

Links: Original Article

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