This landscape of values-based businesses can be quite confusing.

I had a chance to discuss this with a researcher in the field recently, and we started off with the term itself. Purpose-driven. Conscious. Values-based. Mission-driven.

Such a mishmash of buzzwords! But if you look underneath that, you see a common thread:

A growing number of people firmly believe that business can be a force for good. And are willing to put significant work into making it a reality.

At this stage of things, you’d expect lots of names and theories and models to be developing. Different people are looking at different parts of “force for good.”

And it’s OK. This is exactly what happens when a new idea emerges. It feels chaotic when you’re in the middle, but when we look back on this ten or twenty years from now, we’ll see what people eventually gravitated toward.

Maybe it’ll be a new organizational structure. Or a different model of government regulations. Or a redefinition of “success.”

Because all of those are evolving right now, with some amazing and powerful new forces taking effect.

You might think that you’d like to wait for this to all settle down – to ignore it until it makes sense and is more accepted by the mainstream. Just realize that this approach will end up with you being behind the rest of the market, perhaps even headed for irrelevance.

If you choose to be on the leading edge, I suggest that you work really hard on which dimension is going to be most important for you. Are you going to be super-altruistic? Are you convinced there’s a new and better way to treat your employees? Is it about redefining the foundation of an industry?

Fabulous! Focus on that. Dig in. Become that leader which is changing the world.

What better way to define “success”?