Now is the time for business to embrace Purpose

Capitalism and Purpose
From the back cover of the Kilkenomics brochure, November 2019

Small may be beautiful in ethical terms, but it’s not ideal for effecting large-scale change. If endemic poverty is ever to be reversed or global heating resolved, then big business also needs to embrace this more inclusive approach to business.

“Good company: the capitalists putting purpose ahead of profit”
Oliver Balch, The Guardian
Published Nov 24, 2019

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

~ Victor Hugo

I’ve focussed for years on the idea that by putting Purpose, People and Planet ahead of Profit, businesses will “Do well by doing good”. They must always continue to focus on making a Profit in order to Scale their impact, but Profit will be the outcome of this focus, no longer the driver of business.

More and more we are seeing articles like this recent one in the Guardian, as well as the FT leading on this, as shown in how they highlighted this in their sponsorship of the amazing annual Kilkenomics festival.

Today I will unapologetically repeat myself around this topic, as it is not only time business to embrace purpose, but it is now becoming a “hot topic” and I now feel like I’m talking about a mainstream idea, no longer an outlier. So, let’s review.

The “Scale for Impact” model diagramme above is one I’ve used more than any other in posts on this site, plus it also is on the reverse of my business card so I can share it widely with people I meet.

This is such a “win-win-win” I’ve often struggled to understand the fears of CEOs in implementing it, but at the same time, I look to empathise with how difficult it can feel to do something different, to step away from the herd.

So, recently I wrote “Leading from Purpose“, with three guiding ideas to support Leaders to do this:

  1. Put Purpose First and Live it. Always.
  2. Don’t try to be perfect, simply always look to “Be More”
  3. Focus on Profit

In that “Leading from Purpose” article, I give depth to those ideas, as well as provide no fewer than 12 links to my own articles and other external references. Dive deep, there is much there for those curious about scaling their impact through Leading from Purpose.

I have always believed in this, but now it is rapidly moving into the mainstream. Do you wish to lead into this future, or to follow, perhaps to be left behind?

I’d love to meet, to talk. Let’s start with a call.

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Also published on Medium.