As we are approaching the 30e anniversary of the “triple bottom line”, the accounting principle that has become a measure of business performance, it is time to review and reflect.
Indeed, the man who coined the term TBL, John Elkington, argued that the traditional profit and loss measure of business success gave an incomplete picture of a company’s true value or importance. . Elkington expressed the belief that financial success could be seen as a measure of how well an organization addresses social and environmental issues.
Thus, more and more organizations have started various forays into evaluating business performance by measuring People, planet and profit.
‘And,’ not ‘or’
Fast forward to today, and the landscape has changed beyond recognition. Given the importance of retaining staff, the whole aspect of human capital management is changing.
Some leaders strive to provide a systematic way to review and improve operations for better environmental performance and to be more socially responsible. Many others invest in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), as an alternative area of focus or in addition to investing in environmental and socially responsible areas.
I venture to suggest that when leaders understand behavioral diversityit’s a solid overlay – really more of a powerful foundation – to DEI, triple bottom line, and just about any other system, challenge, or opportunity.
Behavioral building block
Understanding inherent behaviors – discovering this behavioral diversity – is only a starting point. Using myself as an example, I will demonstrate what this means: I am an initiator, results-oriented, logical and decisive. I enjoy leading, making decisions and setting the agenda.
Then compare my behavior to that of one of my colleagues who is a facilitator: balanced, demanding and harmonious. She teaches herself and others to achieve goals, prefers a stable environment, and promotes group decision-making.
So our collaboration could be a recipe for disaster. But this is not the case. Because we know each other and have invested time in understanding our own behavioral traits and those of others, we work well together.
We know our own characteristics and those of the other, and we have learned to manage the inherent behaviors and to adapt where there would be potential conflicts. By applying this same approach with all my colleagues, we form a high-performance and efficient team.
Truly diverse perspectives
Behavioral discovery is the starting point. Add differences in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic class, etc. Then look at the processes and programs within your company and ask yourself, “Are they impartial, fair, and do they provide equal possible outcomes for every individual?” Better yet, ask your diverse workforce for their different perspectives on this.
Do they really feel a sense of belonging to your workplace? If you truly reveal and harness the behavioral diversity within your organization, employees will know they are valued for their uniqueness and can authentically get to work. They will know it matters.
With this type of foundation, an organization is well positioned to continue to tackle DEI (beyond behavioral diversity), triple bottom line, and more.
Lead by example (behavioural)
As with any successful implementation, it starts at the top. Is your leadership prepared to introduce programs and activities that offer behavioral diversity as a core element?
Reach; I am happy to share my daily experiences and help you discover your own behavioral diversity.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.