Beyond Not For profiteering..
During my journey with ImpactHub.net I have increasingly found myself in the nexus between the false morality of the “Not For Profit” world and the auto malignant of the “For Profit” world. A nexus that has over the course of the last 10 or so years produced a whole world of Social Enterprise — with numerous off springs corporate forms like community interest companies…
All, built under an overarching assumption — profits need to be controlled so more capital can be returned for social good. A largely fair assumption on the face of it.
But what does “Not for Profit” mean…. It means there is no return on equity capital — i.e no dividends — that is merely it; as ALL the other modes and methods of profiteering, seeking economic rent, asset accrual, IP hoarding remain open through instruments of debt, directors payee, licence fee etc…
Fundamentally, a “Not for Profit” entity in itself, does not automatically ensure a gold standard of ethical corporate behaviour as much as a “For Profit” does not automatically presume a deal with the devil
The issue is, in many cases NOT about the precise legal form, be it “for profit” or “not for profit” as these are merely out of date proxies — but how equitable and efficient is the allocation of capital, how open & transparent is their governance and management, how ethical and equitable is their recruitment, payee and procurement.
The labelling of the morality of a corporate is increasingly more complex than the simplistic “For Profit/Not for Profit” tabloid debate and we are need to move beyond this industrial simplicity.
And perhaps, we need to actually invent a new model which can lift us beyond this simplistic historic paradigm lock of For Profit and Not for Profit shorthand — towards something which can richly discuss and synthesise beneficial use in all is currencies — financial, reputations, knowhow & networks — across the capital providers, employees, customers, communities and most importantly for the sustained and thrive-able public good.