Purpose is more than a cause. It is a wholesome way of being and operating for any organization.
Been saying this for years and acting ON PURPOSE my entire career as a public relations practitioner. Great article that explains purpose is not a cause, it is a way of operating your business, Arguably it must become the way an organization operates. Although there are some ‘social good’ aspects of demonstrating a higher organizational purpose, it does not come to be simply through annual corporate social responsibility documents.
Purpose is truly the secret sauce between financial success, business longevity and ‘doing good’ in society. It even aids employee engagement. When global giant Unilever, for example, shifted course in 2009 and decided to put purpose on par with the need for good profits through its ambitious Sustainable Living Plan, its employee engagement rose from the low 50’s to the high 80’s. But the company also witnessed its market capitalization rise from €63 billion to over €100 billion while its earnings per share grew from 1.16 to almost 2.00.
Purpose ought to become the reason a business is in business. Here’s why:
If an organization exhibits a high degree of purpose in its mission and objectives—taking a stand to benefit society—there is a very good likelihood that employees will more easily demonstrate purpose in their roles at work, become engaged, while adding to their own personal sense of purpose in life as well.
It is no coincidence that the organization, society and the employee greatly benefits when this occurs.
Another company that understands the purpose formula is Salesforce. Chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com, Marc Benioff explained recently at an event held at the company’s headquarters, states, “when we started the company, we actually built giving back into the start-up process. We said from the very beginning we are going to create a company based on three things. Number one, software delivered over the Internet—basically unheard of in 1999. Number two, a new business model, which was buy software on a subscription basis— again, unheard of at that time. The third was a new philanthropic model—which is to bake it into your company as you begin your start-up process I started when the company was 50 people big and we’re now 20,000 employees globally. I think what we’ve learned is that it creates a great company of high performers.”
Again, before a company starts to run its business, or an individual entrepreneur is ready to launch a product he or she believes will change the world, they need to have a purpose, a why, and a passion that drives them to make a difference in the world with cause and effect. Life and work is all about purpose.