Every now and again my inbox fills up with requests from all sorts of groups and charities and I’m invited to ‘do good’ and make a difference.

I’m invited to buy a toy for our local building society’s ‘donate a toy’ campaign or encouraged to buy a charity card. All wonderful, brilliant things, but we can all do so much more by doing what we do every day, but differently.

Like a growing number of people, we believe that all businesses have the potential to be a ‘force for good’.

For centuries, businesses of all sizes have been at the very bedrock of society. By creating products and services they have driven higher standards of living, created jobs, routes out of poverty and crucial investment into our local communities.

Put simply, the UK has a history of business being ‘a force for good’ . We only need to look at what Cadbury’s and Rowntree’s contributed to the communities in which they grew up to understand this.

‘Good’ business is about a purpose which goes beyond money and results. ‘Good’ businesses create workplaces where people are happy and fulfilled. They deliver value for their customers, and the communities within which they operate.

And there is a growing recognition that the biggest impact is achieved when profits and social outcomes are aligned throughout the organisation. As Richard Branson says:

“The new direction for business is a tremendous chance for entrepreneurs all over the world to build successful businesses and to make a significant difference at the same time. If you put charity on one side and for-profit businesses on the other, we see the beautiful hybrid models in the middle as the greatest opportunity of our lifetime.”

We see these hybrid models as great examples of a different way of doing business.

This is not about corporate social responsibility box ticking.  It’s about companies taking a holistic approach to their business proposition. It’s about embedding a defined social purpose into the culture and channeling resources into the development of innovations that can help solve social problems, whilst delivering business growth.

Over the long term, businesses will only flourish if society does.

And we know a business’s success is determined by the clarity of its purpose, and the quality of its products and services. In turn, these are fuelled by the quality of the internal and external relationships that drive them.

When organisations put people and relationships at their heart, everyone – customers, suppliers, employees and communities flourish.

So what is a different way of doing business? Well for us as Social Facilitators it’s about:

A higher purpose, more than just making money, profit is a by product of doing good business and making a difference.

Creating value for everyone – shareholders, employees, customers, supply chain partners and the wider community.

Collaborative leaders who serve the business and help everyone connected to the organisation to flourish.

A culture of co-operation and collaboration.

So here’s to the rise of even more good businesses, and if you’d like help in working out how to do that better then do get in touch for an initial chat about making it real.