Purpose Podcast 021 — Brian Setzler: TriLibrium helps our customers succeed across the triple bottom line

Purpose Podcast Quote Brian Setzler

Some insights from Brian Setzler of TriLibrium, the triple bottom line CPA and Accounting firm (paraphrased):

  • Anything we try to maximize, we blow up. If we can create a system in balance, on the other hand, everyone wins.
  • Ben and Jerry’s was started to help Vermont dairy farmers. Their success hasn’t been because they have the best ice cream or the best marketing or the best price, but because people connect with their purpose.  (Ben & Jerry’s is a Certified B Corp, as is TriLibrium)
  • Several ways to look at and think about purpose
    • To help our customers succeed across the triple bottom line.
    • To serve small business.
    • To be a model and inspiration for other businesses, the power of business to make a positive difference in the world.
    • Honest Relationships
  • book: The Living Company (as opposed to a business as a machine).  Half of the fortune 500 from 30 years ago doesn’t exist today. On the other hand, there are hundreds of companies around the world today that are over 300 years old. What does it take to build a company with that kind of stability?
  • People come to work for a paycheck but loyalty and commitment and dedication is tied to purpose.
  • BLabs is the organization that does the B Corp certification (BCorporation.net). As Brian talked about, anyone can do the assessment. I went ahead and did the assessment for my business. They give you a score at the end and 3 different benchmarks: normal businesses average 50, sustainable businesses average 80 and certified B Corps average 91. My initial score was 56, so we have some work to do. For example, Brian talked about how his company didn’t have a maternity leave policy when they took the initial assessment. That’s true for me too, and many other areas where I don’t have policies. My vision is very community-focused, but almost none of that is written down in policies. I’ll keep you updated over time as I learn more about what changes I can make and which ones I decide to make.
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