"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The financial bottom line is no longer the only measure of business success. In order to guarantee our planetary survival, the human creative conscience must aim to protect, preserve, and propagate a sustainable world.

Today’s best-run organisations pay heed to the need to nurture and nourish a world where success comes from social, environmental, and economic performance factors.

A company will not be allowed to continue business if its success stems solely from financial returns, especially if these returns are at the expense of social disharmony and environmental degradation.

General Electric, focusing on climate change, has garnered great returns. In the last six years, its wind energy business, acquired from Enron, has quadrupled in revenue. The company is attracting customers galore via its fuel-efficient jet and locomotive engines, and natural gas turbines, all designed to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. GE has sold over $1 billion worth of wind and natural gas turbines to China, and is slated to amplify sales across the planet.

In 2004 PepsiCo managed to surpass Coca-Cola in terms of market cap for the first time in history. The secret lay in establishing an overlap between increased market share and healthier lifestyle habits of the general public.

These are just two examples that show the benefits of companies finding the “sweet spot” between their business interests (the shareholders) and the interests of the general public (the stakeholders).

Sustainability addresses our consciences, where businesses must strive not just for an impact on profits, but equally so, for an impact on the world. People, Planet, and Profit.

Sustainable development is about business, not philanthropy per se... assuming that the values of a business are a recognition that profit is entwined within the dynamics of people and planet. It is systemic. Thus, for an enterprise to succeed, sustainable development must be an integral part of a company’s core business.

NOTE: The ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) expression was coined by John Elkington in 1994. It was later expanded and articulated in his 1998 book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.

Sustainability, itself, was first defined by the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations in 1987.

The concept of Triple Bottom Line demands that a company’s responsibility be to ‘stakeholders’ rather than shareholders. In this case, ‘stakeholders’ refers to anyone who is influenced, either directly or indirectly, by the actions of the firm.

[Excerpted from the 'Igniting Innovation' edition of The Braindancer Series of bookazines by Dilip Mukerjea. All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]

Say Keng's personal comments:

For me, the best way to understand what Dilip Mukerjea has written in the foregoing essay is to go back to what American biologist Barry Commoner, now 92, had originally conceived as the First Law of Ecology during the 70's:

"Everything is Connected to Everything Else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all."

By the way, it's analogous to what Leonardo da vinci had said more than five centuries ago.

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