|In a 2018 article in Harvard Business Review, John Elkington, Chairman of Volans, writes: “How often are management concepts subjected to recalls by the people who invented them? It is hard to think of a single case. With this in mind, I’m volunteering to carry out a management concept recall: with 2019 marking the 25th anniversary of the “triple bottom line,” a term I coined in 1994, I propose a strategic recall to do some fine tuning.”
Elkington adds, “So why recall it now? The Triple Bottom Line has failed to bury the single bottom line paradigm. From the outset, the goal was system change — pushing toward the transformation of capitalism. It was never supposed to be just an accounting system. It was originally intended as a genetic code, a triple helix of change for tomorrow’s capitalism, with a focus on breakthrough change, disruption, asymmetric growth (with unsustainable sectors actively sidelined), and the scaling of next-generation market solutions.”
In this live, virtual fireside chat, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker discusses with Elkington the motivations behind his coining of the TBL concept, his perceived failure of the concept to achieve its intended ends, and how the concept can be updated to effectively leverage the kinds of system change necessary to transform business and contribute to the building of an authentically sustainable impact economy.