Creating Shared Value — Purpose Led-Businesses Make a Meaningful Impact

September 26, 2016 - 3 minutes read

The biggest misconception around purpose-led business is the idea that purpose is a nice-to-have option for companies that can afford it. The underlying assumption is that business has the clout to fuel movements, when in reality, shared purpose now has the power to drive commerce on an epic scale.

In today’s business ecosystem, purpose is like a ship’s rudder—you won’t go far without it.

In Corporate Culture And Performance, John Kotter and James Heskett show how purpose-led companies outperform the competition in stock price by a factor of 12. Revenues, workplace expansion and net incomes all reveal the same shocking trend: financial success demands shared value—and common values.

Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen, leader of the world’s largest audit, tax and consulting firm, has preached the “power of purpose” for several years, citing an empirical financial benefit to organizations like Google, Apple, Tom’s shoes and Seventh Generation.

“Exceptional firms have always been good at aligning their mission or purpose with their execution and as a result have enjoyed category leadership in sales and profits.”

When we talk about globalization, we tend to talk about opportunity, as if all you need is a laptop and a big idea. But the truth is, great ideas don’t go anywhere without great believers. And that means aligning leadership, workforce, and customers to serve a shared purpose.

As we get deeper into the internet age, the playing field levels to a challenging degree, offering an uninspiring mishmash of endless choice and more-or-less sameness. To stand out, a company has to stand for something.

Global events can touch us, move us, shake us, even ignite us. Fantastic potential for positive growth exists, but this era of pioneering and profiting without borders has its own set of unwritten rules.

It’s reasonable to say that globalization has humanity finding meaning as part of our chosen movements, contributing to a purpose larger than ourselves. Deeply held convictions unite and empower us with tech, commercial and human elements all strands in the same web. As a result, we stand to lose some of our ego-driven focus on the self—and gain the power collectively, to catalyze change and contribute to causes we believe in.

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