Why our most important bottomline is People (3BL at Green Hill)

In this series of blog posts, we’re sharing our journey to adopting a triple bottom line approach (3BL) approach at Green Hill. The previous and introductory post of the series is available here.

Those of us in the addiction and mental health field typically got here for a combination of two reasons: we’ve personally been impacted by addiction and/or mental health issues and we want to help others that are struggling. It’s awesome to show up to work everyday with a group of people that are passionate about making the world a better place, but that doesn’t mean that leadership always knows how to effectively create an environment that serves its clients and its team. Of course we’re focused on our clients’ outcomes but we believe that in order to produce the best client outcomes over time, we must be just as focused on the growth and development of our team. The triple bottom line approach helps us clarify what it means to focus on the social welfare of our people. 

We are in the helping profession, which means we are inherently stakeholder-oriented. The needs of our clients and their families are of paramount importance but that doesn’t mean they are our only, or even main concern. To ensure our clients have the best possible outcomes, we posit that focusing on our team is the primary concern.  2021 is the year we take it a step further and double down on the our-people-first approach. 

To understand Green Hill’s our-people-first approach, it’s important to understand the underlying theory which consists of three main components: (1) structural isomorphism, (2) people as dynamic systems, and (3) kaizen & self-renewal.

Isomorphism is a similarity of the processes or structure of one organization to those of another, be it the result of imitation or independent development under similar constraints. At micro and macro levels, entities (individuals or organizations) mirror like entities. The general concept we’re trying to apply is simple: provide the same level of engagement for each member of our team as we expect them to do towards our clients. If we pride ourselves on being a program that goes far beyond treating substance use and mental health concerns to helping people maximize their potential, then that needs to be true for each member of the team.

Dynamic Systems Theory states that the environment (available resources or affordances), task (goal), and individual constraints (past experience + genetics) themselves influence the output (our actions or behaviors). In simple terms, we are all shaped by a combination of factors that are constantly influencing each other. As an organization, it’s important that we provide the best possible environment to facilitate learning and growth, as that will greatly impact how successful an individual is at meeting their goals. People are not static — it’s on us to provide the necessary training, resources, and mentorship to help each member of the team reach their full potential.

Kaizen is a Japanese word that translates into “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”. Green Hill is an organization that is committed to isomorphic kaizen, which means that we expect each client, team member, and the organization as a whole to be committed to continual improvement. While this spirit has always been captured in our value of ‘growth’, we want to more formally acknowledge our ‘growth mindset’ as a key component to who we are. 


We will focus on team member personal-professional development (PPD). PPD is the cornerstone of what Green Hill provides — we believe that a life in recovery is a life of limitless opportunity, not a limitation. From the top down, we will all be engaged in a standardized PPD program that will focus on goal setting, mentorship, and learning. Green Hill’s leadership team is committed to each team member’s growth and we want to leverage the company to help you meet your goals. 

This translates directly into the work we’re doing with our clients. If they see each member of the team engaged in personal and professional growth, there will be implicit (positive) pressure from their environment to do the same, that’s the structural isomorphism at work. Moreover, if you receive mentorship and opportunities to pursue the things that interest you, you’re more likely to understand how to do the same for our clients. At the leadership level, we don’t get to spend as much time as we’d like with our clients and our front-line team; however, this company-wide approach to PPD is how we turn Green Hill into an ecosystem of human flourishing. 

Our people are extremely talented, hardworking, and share a set of values. Regardless of where our people sit on the organizational chart, they have the ability to impact strategic decisions. We want everyone to be empowered to make a positive impact and it’s of the utmost importance that our team members see their work as rewarding. 

3BL People Group

Green Hill will establish a working group that will meet monthly to focus on addressing the people within the Green Hill community, with a primary focus on our team members in 2021. The goal of this working group is simple, though not easy: make Green Hill the best place to work. To accomplish this, the People Group will analyze our current operational policies and procedures and then provide recommendations on how to improve our organization. 

Health, wellness, & safety 

  • How can Green Hill better encourage team member wellness?
  • Do our benefits package line up with our values? 
  • What team-oriented activities should we add to our schedule? 

Mentoring & coaching DNA

  • Are we receiving consistent mentorship and coaching?
  • Do we provide holistic development opportunities?
  • What general training should we add? 
  • How can the Company better support your personal goals?

Career development & hiring

  • How can the Company better provide job-specific training?
  • Does Green Hill support non-job-specific broadening? 
  • What can the Company do to better prepare you for your next role?
  • How can we better demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? 

Engagement & satisfaction

  • Are we living up to our core values?
  • What team-wide events should we have? 
  • How can we improve the physical environment? 

Company Value: Growth 

Whether it’s as a company or as individuals, we want to grow. When we initially conceived of our core values, “growth” was not included; however, as we looked at the team members who best exemplified the other values, it was obvious that they valued personal growth and that Green Hill was a piece of their development. 

As we look to the future, it’s clear that our organization needs to value growth from the top down. If we want a sustainable, high-impact company, we must all be committed to developing to our fullest potential. Optimal growth does not occur when we’re in our comfort zone, nor does it occur when we’re pushed far beyond our capabilities. At Green Hill, we’re committed to providing mentorship, supervision, and coaching to serve our team in their personal journeys to their potential. 

Over the coming weeks we’ll be exploring how we’re implementing a 3BL approach at Green Hill. We believe that this framework, while applicable in every field, is a must in the helping professions.

Stay tuned for more information on our approach and we look forward to connecting with other impact-oriented leaders.