Is it time for a re-assessment of why people get into business, and what they do when they get there, in the first place?
A post at the Fast Company blog "Leading Companies for Good," made me wonder.
One thing has changed, however. By the 1980’s, corporations shifted their giving and service programs to be more aligned with the corporate mission and more strategic in accomplishing measurable outcomes for the company and the community. Volunteerism also became more inclusive involving employees of all levels, fostering team-building and community spirit, as well as productive service.
Non-profits are not just exemplary institutions because they do something for the social good. That's a non-starter conversation. Of course, that is what they are known for. That may bring a considerable amount of social value to your company, if you are involved in one.
Non-profits a lesson in doing business
A large measure of financial and business methodology experimentation and laboratory work happens in non-profits. Non-profits are just as much a businesses as any other business. Cost efficiency, outcome efficiency and streamlining and scalability are just as important.
Look at the successful non-profit charter schools like KIPP and Green Dot Public Schools.
Successful non-profits in education like these schools are really good at pinpointing where education is failing, and driving a solution that leads to measurable outcomes, better efficiency in training, educating, maintenance and blending study materials with student choices and needs.
Those are lessons that from a macro point of view any business would want to learn to enable better strategies in reaching its consumers and driving profit and brand value. Success, even if it is not for profit, is about knowing what you are doing and doing it well within a confined set of restrictions, whether those restrictions are economic, cultural, regulatory or otherwise.