This issue of Wise Words delves into your business Purpose and why it s becoming increasingly important to get right!
What you'll learn: - The blind pursuit of profit as a core purpose is no longer enough - Global trends are forcing companies to show what they stand for - Purpose driven companies make more money!
Chasing leads, dealing with suppliers, hiring staff and growing our businesses can make it hard for us to find the time to stop and ask ourselves why we are actually doing what we are doing! I can hear you thinking “Im doing this to grow my sales and profit!” Growing sales and profit is absolutely crucial, however, for more and more businesses, their employees, and their customers - the blind pursuit of profit as a core purpose is no longer enough.
We are living in a time of fast and exciting change, technology is adapting every day, new generations are expecting different things from their workplaces and socio-political and economic upheaval is accelerating worldwide. The idea of having a Purpose for a business is nothing new, but the limelight in recent times has been on Vision Statements of success, Mission Statements aimed at rallying the troops, and lists of Values for organizations to live by. But, like flip phones and baggy jeans, Purpose has made a comeback and is again being seen as more important than ever. The reasons for this are wide and varied, however, some Global Macro trends have certainly forced companies to rethink their approach. Three trends that have had an immense impact to this change are Trust, Sustainability and Inequality.
New generations have grown up in the age of fake news – and they can easily spot it. They are seeking transparency, authenticity and action when it comes to social positions that matter. Their purchasing decisions are not made on price and quality – but what the company stands for. If a company says one thing, and does another they will be found out and judged in the court of social media.
Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges that the world has had to face. Business is under the microscope to help solve the climate problem and regulation is going to be here to stay. Companies must rethink how they make, supply and sell their goods and services in an environmentally conscious way or risk being left behind by their competitors who adapt to the future.
Inequality is at an all time high. Right now just 1% of the worlds population control more than 50% of the planets wealth. The pay gap between corporate executives and employees is also widening. Society is beginning to demand that Companies consider a higher reason to their existence and how it can help to give back.
Taking all of this into account, for your Purpose to have a real meaningful impact it should be a broad, humanistic, socially conscious statement that will create value for multiple stakeholders – employees, shareholders, investors, consumers, and the society that you operate in. This isn’t to say that optimizing your operation to maximize profit is to be thrown out the window. No, your Profit and Purpose must work in harmony. "
Purpose driven companies make more money, have more engaged employees, more loyal customers, and are better at innovation and transformational change". (Harvard EY Beacon Institute survey).
What this is saying is that Purpose Pays! But, just saying it, and then doing it are two different things! Once you adopt your Purpose, it is absolutely critical that the senior leaders within your business live and breath your purpose day in day out. Your Purpose will set the guardrails for what your business will and will not do as part of its strategy – this is why your purpose is the first part of the strategic puzzle that needs to be solved! So, why does your business exist? Do you have a clear purpose, that is authentic and humanistic?