Tag: Purpose

Purpose-Led – Redemption Roasters

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line
The new triple bottom line – see “Leading from Purpose”

In 2020 I will be writing regular posts featuring businesses that are truly Purpose-led and are highly and sustainably successful. This is all part of a mission to build bridges to CEOs, and specifically to address the doubters that believe that Purpose as the core driver for Leadership is only “window dressing”. Whilst I agree that there is more and more “Purpose-Washing” that goes on from cynical CEOs, Boards, Shareholders, by writing about the success stories I hope to open eyes and hearts and reduce some of that cynicism.

Purpose-Led – Redemption Roasters

Our business is successful because our customers and clients buy into our ethos, not because we have no costs.

Redemption Roasters

This week I was invited to meet a friend at one of the locations of the London-based coffee company Redemption Roasters. I gave no thought to the name until I walked in the door and their purpose was clearly shown on boards on the walls.

Redemption are: “a specialty coffee company who believe that we can reduce reoffending in the UK through coffee.”

Redemption roast their coffee in UK prisons. Their FAQ is a wonderful read and the quote at the top here leapt out at me from the FAQ. Oh, and from roasting coffee in ONE UK prison, they now have five coffee shops in London, a training centre, and are in a total of NINE UK Prisons as well as Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. I repeat their quote:

Our business is successful because our customers and clients buy into our ethos, not because we have no costs.

Can the climate crisis be a catalyst for true change?

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

I’m a believer in #OpenLeadership and, in particular, Leading from Purpose (see my core post on this here). For 2020 I’ve also decided to seek out case studies of successful businesses and write around them under the theme “Purpose-Led” with the first one this week: “Purpose-Led – from 13 people to 6 million“, where I also wrote: “This is all part of a mission to build bridges to CEOs, and specifically to address the doubters that believe that Purpose as the core driver for Leadership is only “window dressing”. “

Now, I have always believed in the new triple bottom line as a model for leaders, but in the last year or so I have come to believe that the climate crisis will be THE catalyst to move more and more CEOs, Boards, Shareholders to truly shift their “WHY” to one focussed on Purpose, People, Planet before Profit.

What makes me believe this? Simple. Ironically it is self-interest that will drive this shift. Sometimes it takes a massive crisis to drive massive shifts in behaviour, with such massive shifts changing how investment and business is conducted around the world.

(more…)

Holstee: Life is short. Live your dream, and wear your passion.

Holstee: Life is short. Live your dream, and wear your passion

Ten years ago, in their first step as a company, Holstee’s founders, Dave, Mike and Fabian, sat together on the steps of Union Square in New York to write down how they define success. The goal was to create something they could reflect back on if they ever felt stuck or found themselves living according to someone else’s definition of happiness. The result was the Holstee manifesto, which went super-viral.

I love the idea of defining what success is at the very beginning of a company. Steve Jobs said that Apple was here to “put a dent in the universe” in the garage with Steve Wozniak, ie at the very beginning.

I also love supporting leaders and their organisations connect to their Purpose and what it means for everyone in and connected to them and how it can drive success far more effortlessly as it also creates powerful alignment and clarity across the business.

What’s your manifesto, your definition of success?

I leave you with the Holstee manifesto lifestyle video and wording.

(more…)

The emergence of the purpose-driven consultant

purpose-driven profit
The new triple bottom line,
see the #OpenLeadership article “Leading from Purpose

..The growing demand for a fairer, more caring form of capitalism has also given rise to a related phenomenon: the emergence of the purpose-driven consultant.

Over recent years, a cottage industry of advisory firms has sprung up, all promising to help companies on this “journey” (a favourite phrase) towards a more purposeful, less profit-centric model of business.

In the spirit of business-as-unusual, their approach is refreshingly unorthodox. “Bold”, “heartfelt” and “emotionally involved” are among the defining characteristics..

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

Count me in as one of those “purpose-driven consultants” supporting brave leaders on that transformative journey to putting purpose ahead of profit.

The opening paragraph of my home page reads (note bold type at the end):

Command-and-control leadership is losing its grip. A new way is emerging: #OpenLeadership, embracing change as constant, encouraging individual thought, relying on intuition more than data, fluidity more than hierarchy, trust more than fear, and putting the common good ahead of profit.

Oh, and as I constantly say, by putting Purpose+People+Planet first, so many businesses show again and again that this leads to Profit, but as an outcome, not as the primary focus.

So, glad to see this movement building momentum, with this latest article in The Guardian (see link by the quote from Oliver’s article) a recent example reporting on this.

One caveat. Beware of what I have termed “Purpose-washing”, there is much “box-ticking” going on, as there is with ESG/CSR/SDG focus already.

Taking the Business Roundtable statement quoted in the article, I’m skeptical about their motives, boxes feel like they are being ticked right now.

So, if you are truly drawn towards a new way of leading, let’s talk. I’ll listen, then I’ll call it as I see it. If you are truly up for this, I’ll be with you every step. If you are not, I’ll tell you that is what I see. Perhaps call it a “Purpose Check”.

Let’s talk

My clients say I “see what others don’t see”. Experience for yourself, book your 30-minute call now.

Guest post: The Wisdom Within a Minute

Wisdom Within a Minute

Today sharing a post from Ed Duggar, a wise human I had the good fortune of meeting last year through “mi hermana”, Rosie von Lila as we all came together in NYC to support one of her “What Comes Now” live events

Ed is deeply passionate about taking his experience and skills in the field of investment capital and demonstrating (as he has, repeatedly, throughout his career) that one can invest capital to scale businesses, gain excellent returns AND address key challenging social and environmental issues AND addressing structural biases that radically limit access to such capital to women, people of colour and other less represented groups.

He and his business partner Julianne Zimmerman follow this purpose and passion through their business, Reinventure Capital. As part of this, they write regular blog posts, and today am sharing a recent post from Ed on “The Wisdom Within a Minute”. To cut to the “punchline” of the story that follows, Ed asks and answers a powerful question:

..if only given a tiny little minute — didn’t choose it, had to use it, must give account if I abused it — but that minute had an eternity of ripple effects within it, what would my decision be?

Perhaps the best answer is the one we knew was right to begin with, when free of considerations of lost favor or personal retribution. Powerful decisions full of values we believe in, that stand the test of the time we live in.

Enjoy the article…

(more…)

Find a Purpose that has you

Purpose and strategic plan

Over the years I have been introduced to many leaders and organisations who have either brought in consultants to help them develop their strategic plan or have done it themselves using an established format. What they have in common is that their (usually long and detailed) Strategic Plan literally and figuratively “sits on the shelf”. They’ve felt frustrated that after all the work done to produce and launch it, people have disengaged and, as a result, it “sits on the shelf”, gathering dust, potential unrealised.

They then talk to a peer or other trusted contact who knows and has worked with me, and that person tells them I can help them unlock that potential. In filling this niche, I’ll highlight three things:

  • Bravery – often the missing link
  • Brevity – getting the essence of their strategy down to “one page”
  • Purpose – Strategy must link to Vision and, critically, to Purpose.

Of these, whilst Bravery and Brevity are key, without a strong link to Purpose that everyone in the organisation feels strongly connected to for the long term, all Strategic Plans will lose momentum.

Today, then sharing a short post from my esteemed and most wise friend Bruce Peters, who sent me this on reading my post yesterday on “Building Bridges for CEOs“.

(more…)

#BeMoreYou – Elevate

Elevate Quote

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

David Whyte

On occasion, I choose to muse here a little with my daily posts.

Today I was captivated by this quote from the poet and philosopher David Whyte, from a Brainpickings post from the wonderful Maria Popova.

An anchor for me in life right now is something a dear friend said to me: “the people in your life should elevate you”.

Do your life and the people in it elevate you, bring you ever more alive, see you #BeMoreYou?

Is the tide turning on the purpose of the corporation?

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

In January this year, I wrote a series of articles around rethinking the purpose of the corporation, then moved towards rethinking the “triple bottom line” (that dates from 1994) to the “new triple bottom line”, expressed graphically above. The article that captures that and links to my earlier posts is:

Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.

This month, August 2019, the Business Roundtable of CEOs of some of the largest corporations in the USA, published a one-page statement called: “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation“.

This appears to mark a major shift in thinking, does it indicate that the tide might be turning?

(more…)

You are what you measure – so what do you measure?

TED Nicola Sturgeon what do you measure

“..the objective of economic policy should be collective well-being: how happy and healthy a population is, not just how wealthy a population is.” 

~ Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, TED Summit, Edinburgh, July 2019

As UK government and politics, in general, continue to flail along with no clear sense of direction or what success would look like, earlier this week, on the day that the new Prime Minister chose to visit Scotland, a TED Talk that was given last week by the First Minister of Scotland was released. What a stark contrast in leadership it offered and in what two countries (the UK overall and Scotland separately) seek to measure.

Long-time readers will note that in amongst the shorter and often more eclectic daily posts I intersperse longer and deeper reads, often around Economics and, more specifically the future of both Economics and Capitalism in service of the broader society.

So, today share the video and transcript of Ms Sturgeon’s powerful talk, then connect that to some earlier posts and thoughts of my own on what we measure.

(more…)

The connectedness of meaning allows ideas to be scaled

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line Meaning

A line from Nilofer Merchant’s recent LI article: “Don’t Be The Lonely Only” reads:

“when connected people can do what once only large organizations could; the connectedness of meaning allows original ideas to be (a) incubated and (b) scaled.”

The graphic above is my distillation to a model key to #OpenLeadership that I call the new triple bottom line, as I most recently wrote about in: “Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line“, noting at the end of that piece:

“It is my consistent experience that the more you focus on Purpose, the easier it is to make a Profit.”

(more…)

The power of an upwards spiral

openness and trust upwards spiral

Trust is at the core of all relationships.

My underlying theme on this site I call #OpenLeadership, as being Open is at the heart of what I see as the new paradigm of Leadership, one of four core attributes detailed on the #BeMoreYou page.

I also love “Virtuous Circles”, my favourite being the one below from Gaping Void and that was the first of many framed prints from Hugh McLeod that filled the walls of our business in Cayman.

inspire_beinspired

So, I love the image above of an Openness and Trust spiral, as a virtuous circle is really a 2D representation of a 3D upwards spiral, where both elements feed each other to higher and higher heights. Trust builds Openness, which builds more Trust, which builds even further Openness etc.

I close with another virtuous circle, that of the “Scale for Impact” model, or “new triple bottom line” where Purpose+People+Planet leads to Profit, which can then be reinvested for Scale to create ever more Impact through that focus on Purpose+People+Planet and so on.

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

Why Purposeful Companies Create Value for All They Serve

purposeful companies return on investment

What’s the ROI of Purpose? 6 Steps to Take Toward Better Business: Why Purposeful Companies Create Value for All They Serve #BtheChange via @ConsciousCoMag
— B Corporation (@BCorporation) June 8, 2019

The universe of people committed to helping leaders lead from Purpose is still a relatively small one, so I loved that I came across this tweet from B Corporation, then when I clicked through, it was by Laurie Bennett of Within People, who I came across at the Meaning Conference last year, having known two of the partners in his business for some time.

In my work I typically support leaders 1:1, with this regularly involving extending this to their teams. As with Within People, we both work with leaders around people, culture, stories, engagement and more. In short, love their work!

This week I’m on a roll around Purpose being at the heart of business as a force for good. Two days ago I wrote: “Doing the right thing can make you more money” and yesterday I wrote: “Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line“.

In that latter post, I promised that today I’d curate an article by Laurie Bennett, so here it is, chockful of links to real-world examples of businesses that put Purpose first, with Profit not as a driver but an outcome that then allows them to scale their impact.

(more…)

Make Purpose the first P in your triple bottom line

Many will be familiar with the “three Ps” of the concept of the triple bottom line:

Profit, People, Planet

My career dates back over thirty years, focussed very much on growing businesses, which does mean making profits to enable them to scale.

Sometimes growing profits is really hard work, making scaling hard work.

Over time I worked out that it is far easier to scale if you put Purpose at the heart of your business, hence a while ago I came up with a new triple bottom line, of:

Purpose, People, Planet

(more…)

Who can you introduce?

UnconciousBias-Square

Hi. My name is Tom. I’m 53, white, male, tall, straight, middle class, university educated, professionally qualified and a native English speaker from the developed world.

Every single one of those reasons gives me socio-economic privilege, put them together and the relative privilege I have by accident of birth alone is quite staggering.

I also have both conscious and unconscious biases. By the nature of the terms, I can look to take action from aware of my conscious biases, but addressing unconscious bias is more difficult.

Today an idea around a way any of us can look to address unconscious bias in support of others who don’t look like us. (more…)

Who are you?

Identity: who are you

Who are you?

Simple question, but identity can have many elements.

Imagine you lead a business where lack of collaboration and trust is a constant struggle.

“Who are you?” is a great question to ask and answer to support trust and collaboration. (more…)

Book a diagnostic meeting

Subscribe for Inspiration, Ideas, Tools

I offer you two newsletters seeking to offer inspiration to action, ideas and tools for leaders.

Open Leadership – Digest
Big Game Advisors – Ideas into Action