Historically growth in terms of profit has been the sole measures of a business’s performance. But, with growing pressure for businesses to act more responsibly, surely we need to reassess what success looks like?
We bring together five creative thinkers to discuss the new measures of success.
JULES MILLER — Founder, The Nue Co
You don’t have to choose between growth and doing the right thing. Today, consumers vote with their dollars. It’s possible to achieve growth through honesty, sustainability, compassion and empathy.
TOM SAVIGAR — Founder of Avansere & Co-Owner of the Future Laboratory
The whole beyond GDP phenomenon is getting more and more potent. It’s accelerating because of what’s happening now. The concept of measuring GDP, which is purely financial, was developed a long time ago and it doesn’t represent what’s happening.
Growth isn’t a bad thing. But, what you’re measuring to grow or what you’re trying to measure as growth is currently bundled up in only financial means.
There’s the social progress index, which measures countries based on things like happiness, inclusivity, equality, education, amongst other metrics. If you were to score the US, for example, it’s in the top five for GDP. But, according to the SPI, it’s number 22 in the world — I think it’s actually going lower now. So it’s a second tier country according to social metrics, but a top tier country according to economic metrics.
If you were to measure the reality of what growth is, humans aren’t growing as much as GDP in some countries.
SCOTT NEWLIN — Design Director, Harry’s
I think a new metric of success for brands should be positive impact or PI. What has a brand done to show a positive impact in the world? What steps did they take to proactively do good and lead with compassion?
I think our current political climate has left a void that perhaps brand and brand leaders can fill. Informed consumers would definitely seek out those brands with high PI.
Susanne Manasi — Founder, Manasi 7
It is of course important to be able to grow your business, however if growth is your only goal, the brand loses its core and won’t last long.
Creativity should be a key marker of success. In this digitalised world, we need to recognise how essential human creativity is instead of just aiming for more.
DOM BRIDGES — Founder, Haeckels
We want to continue to grow, but we grow by linked to the ingredients and the location. Whereas the tried and tested method is to make the factories as big as you possibly can and one day hopefully you’ll have your own aeroplanes too and then you can get it to wherever you want it to be, quicker. And that doesn’t really work any more.
These things are going to keep happening and what that’s going to do is just totally fracture global supply chains and hopefully the very things that ruin our planet in the first place, all those things that attribute to mass growth, the cheapness of growth, the shortcuts.