“Purpose gives your business its license to operate in today’s society” – Larry Fink, CEO, BlackRock
Leaders have always been preoccupied with profits and revenues – thereby keeping them awake at night. The pandemic exacerbated the problem, raising the question “What is the purpose of our work, and “Why” does our organization exists?”.
This is not just a burning question in the minds of the CEOs but also the employees.
Over 79% of CEOs throughout the world are considering the “Why” and “What” questions, as per the CEO Survey conducted by KPMG. More than ever, the purpose has now become an identity of the organization’s soul.
CEOs who operate with awareness, purpose, and meaning inspire their employees, delight their customers, and generate long-term value for their shareholders – making the world a better place.
According to Advertising Research Foundation, it is found that 86% of the firms that exceed their revenue growth targets believe that their purpose had a factor in their success.
What exactly is an Organisational Purpose all about?
It is all about being authentic to the Soul of the Organisation. To put it another way, it’s a link between “Why the Organisation exists” and “What need does it satisfy in Society”. It is a concept that goes beyond a company’s financial statements, vision, and mission.
It explains the existence of an Organisation, including the positive impact a Brand has on people’s lives, the Society that they are part of, and the Environment they thrive in.
Consumers prefer Brands with Authentic Purpose. As a result, to gain a competitive advantage leading Brands across the World are positioning themselves as being Purpose-led. British American Tobacco is a great example.
In 2020, their CEO Jack Bowles outlined the Company’s strategy to imbibe Purpose by 2025. Their new corporate concept is to build a better tomorrow by reducing the health impact of their business by providing less-risky products to customers.
Many prominent UK retailers, including Iceland, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s, are working to eliminate the use of plastics in their retail stores by 20254 – infusing more purpose and meaning into the marketplace.
Siemens, on the other hand, is positioning itself from a B2B company to a B2S (Business-to-Society) company by enabling local economic growth.
This creates more jobs, reduces the carbon footprint from their business operations, and includes more women and minorities in the workforce.
How can Organisations and Leaders identify Organisational Purpose?
The identification of an Organisation’s Purpose starts by knowing, “Why it exists”, “Why was the Organisation started in the first place” and “What needs it caters to in Society”.
Leaders add the second layer of Purpose to an Organisation. Unless a Leader’s Value Systems do not match the Value System of the Organisation or the need that it is catering to, the Organisation will continue to either make losses or be stagnant.
This is why 75% of the Organisations currently listed on the S&P 500 could disappear by 2027 either by mergers, acquisitions, or bankruptcy, according to McKinsey & Company’s research.
Many global corporate frauds and scandals in the past also prove that companies who are only looking for significant short-term profits without having a clear focus on Organisation’s Purpose do not do well in the long run.
How can Organisations be led through purpose?
- Being authentic to the desire of your soul:
Recognising the truth of your soul and reflecting upon your value system can help you uncover the true purpose of your soul. Once you’ve done that, try to embed this into the philosophy of your organization.
- Create a culture of trust and empathy that fosters more purpose in the organization:
Connect with your employees on a weekly basis to help them find their purpose in their day-to-day work. Talk to them. Listen to them. And help them honor their callings whether it is within or outside the organization.
This not only makes employees feel proud of where they work, but it also establishes a brand and a top place to work in the eyes of the outside world. A culture of empathy, trust, and purpose provides impetus to employees to exceed expectations and foster more innovation in the organization.
- Empathize with your customers:
Your customers and clients are putting their hard-earned money, time, and attention into your products and services in the hopes of solving their issues or achieving their wants, goals, and ambitions.
As a result, their needs and desires should be yours, allowing you to provide products and services that have an impact not only on consumers but also on global stakeholders.
- Business-as-a-Service that matters:
Share stories about how your company is making a difference in the world through annual reports, annual general meetings, and other conferences.
- Recognize the fact that purpose is never static, it evolves with time:
Over time, purpose needs to be nurtured, revisited, and redefined to enhance corporate strategy, create a more diverse culture, boost employee engagement, and be of service to the world.
So as a CEO (irrespective of your organization or your own life), how are you planning to incorporate purpose into your life?
Dr. Manmeet Kumar is a Spiritual Coach who founded Soul Miracles in 2016. She uses her gifts of being a psychic and a medium to enable others to transform their inner core.