The concept of ‘purpose-led organisations’ has been gathering momentum. How organisations respond to the coronavirus pandemic, navigate the financial crash and mitigate climate change is being scrutinised. Is the organisation behaving in a way that reflects their purpose promises? Is the purpose relevant to current societal and environmental demands? Is it a purpose beyond profit?
Business is either part of the solution or part of the problem.
Now, when BAU is disrupted, it is an opportune time for businesses to take stock, reset and reimagine Purpose. Because, Purpose is no longer simply about expressing your ‘why’. Neither is it about demonstrating profit to shareholders. Even the ‘king of capitalism’ Larry Fink recently said:
"To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show it makes a positive contribution to "society"
This is at the heart of the global B-Corp movement that is reshaping future businesses to exist for “People, Planet and Profit”. Balancing these 3Ps defines Purpose. There are clear benefits in companies whose purpose defines their role within society and uses it as a ‘North star’ for making decisions in times of crisis. There are many examples. And, there’s lots of consumer data showing how customers view purpose-driven brands as being more caring and, as a result, are more loyal to them.
But there is often a gap between what business leaders believe their purpose to be and what their behaviours suggest their purpose truly is: impacting trust and reputation. This is the difference between having a purpose that simply expresses an organisations aspiration versus it being a conscious expression of behaviour and intention to evolve or transform itself.
It’s an opportunity to reshape business of the future that’s driven by a clear oganisational purpose.
At Lansons, we’re committed to helping organisations be purpose-led that’s fit for today’s world.
Purpose requires everyone – employees, suppliers, shareholders and leaders – to believe in it, so that the organisation does not just have a perceived Purpose but actively lives its Purpose in all that it does. Our service offer ranges from insight gathering to set out an authentic purpose narrative to engaging disparate stakeholders and embedding in the business for long-term success.
From joining ‘clap for carers’ on Thursdays, to shopping for vulnerable neighbours at the weekend, millions of Britons have discovered a new connection to their community during the pandemic. - Authored by Adam Baines and Louise Gardiner-Hill
Baroness Mary Goudie is a member of the British House of Lords and is a passionate gender equality and diversity campaigner. Mary is a founding member of 30% Club, a campaign launched in 2010 to ensure diversity and inclusion on boards and in senior management roles across companies. Mary maintains her position on the UK’s steering committee. The 30% Club has since evolved to become a global campaign.
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