Purpose and profit are connected. Here's proof.
Purpose continues to gain momentum outside the confines of the not-for-profit world. More and more organizations are starting to understand the ability of purpose to drive company profitability. My firm talks about it as creating meaning and money. Purpose and profit.
Ultimately, it’s the belief that, by doing good, your organization can do better. Support for this innovation continues to emerge. Here is a collection of insight that helps illustrate:
- How to make a profit while making a difference – this is an engaging TED Talk that is well worth the 12-1/2 minutes to watch. Here is a great excerpt: “If you had invested a dollar 20 years ago in a portfolio of companies that focused narrowly on making more money quarter by quarter, that one dollar would have grown to 14 dollars and 46 cents. That's not bad until you consider that if instead you'd invested that same dollar in a portfolio of companies that focused on growing their business and on the most important environmental and social issues, that one dollar would have grown to 28 dollars and 36 cents.”
- The Possibility of Workplace Purpose – this post looks at your greatest constituents – your team members – and how purpose can help them help you. Here’s a quote from that post: “Research continually shows that employees and organizations who are clear on their purpose benefit from higher levels of engagement, which positively impacts their bottom line.”
- The Future Of Progressive Business Is Companies That Are Good, Not Just Doing Good – this post examines the idea of shared value – where profits, customers, and the environment all benefit from a company's success. Here’s a bit from that piece: “First, there was philanthropy: Companies made money doing bad things, but then gave some of their earnings to good causes. Second, there was corporate responsibility (or minimizing harm): Companies tried to do fewer bad things. And now companies are working (or should work) on actual solutions: products and services that serve social problems.”
- Lip service is the kiss of death for your brand purpose – this posts looks at the importance of ‘walking-the-walk’ when it comes to your brand purpose. Here’s a quote from the post: “As valuable as a brand purpose is, it can actually hurt an organization if there is no action behind it. Like I said, it gets people charged up. Imagine doing that and then showing your team members nothing that says that you’re serious about the brand purpose.”
- Why Organizations Cannot Thrive Without Purpose – this post looks at the power that purpose can infuse into a company. Here’s a quote: “In theory, contracts can provide this glue by specifying what each stakeholder contributes, and what she gets in return. But stakeholders may simply do the minimum required to satisfy the contract. A sense of purpose encourages stakeholders to go above and beyond — for an employee to mentor subordinates even if not explicitly rewarded by a bonus.”