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Balancing vs Aligning Purpose and Profit

Leaders of purpose-driven enterprises frequently speak of “balancing” purpose and profit. They assume that they must forgo some profits in order to change the world for the better. In some cases, this may indeed be true. However, if it’s consistently true then your business model is broken and you should consider a new business model or become a non-profit.

In some cases, the leaders look as profit-seeking to be an inferior activity to the purpose of the organization. Striving for profits may be considered an inferior activity, since it keeps the organization from the important work of creating positive social change.

I believe that striving for “balance” between purpose and profit creates a self-limiting mindset which has a negative impact on both purpose and profit.

I prefer to think in terms of “aligning” purpose and profit.

  • “Alignment” enhances creative thinking.

  • “Alignment” keeps your company within the market economy, thereby engaging more companies and people.

  • “Alignment” generates funds to grow the business and increase social impact.

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