Purpose is becoming an increasingly mainstream term in the business world. A quick scroll on LinkedIn, and you’ll likely see many brands sharing how they want to use their organisation for “business with purpose”. Not to mention, customers are also expecting businesses to have an aspiration other than simply seeking profit.
According to BusinessDIT, 65 percent of Americans want companies to drive environmental and social change in the absence of government action. All of this has resulted in a surge of purpose-driven brands and businesses. With this in mind, many business leaders and organisations looking to do societal good are wondering what exactly purpose looks like within a business.
What are purpose-driven businesses?
A PwC study on workplace purpose shares that 79 percent of business leaders consider purpose to be a vital factor to success. Those businesses that are driven by purpose, as well as profit and success seamlessly integrate purpose into their strategy. Purpose can be a means to set organisational strategy and navigate decision-making to boost positive impact. It is especially important nowadays when businesses are being challenged to make difficult decisions, and corporate social responsibility is at the top of everyone’s minds.
These businesses connect their day-to-day work with a shared purpose. In other words, they carry out their normal daily duties as a business but also look to contribute good to the world. This good could include tackling environmental problems or societal issues. For example, being part of the solution in reducing plastic pollution or empowering those most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. They use this purpose mindset to advance measurable objectives. Their commitment to purpose also drives innovation and creates a competitive advantage.
Finally, they recognise the power of collaboration to make change happen. For this reason, purpose-driven organisations go further than simply traditional philanthropy. Rather, they create a strong business strategy that encompasses purpose, so it will eventually reach distributors, suppliers, customers, and all actors within a company’s operations. Businesses share their core business purpose to evolve the way they engage with society, too. Therefore, you can expect them to team up with other like-minded organisations and nonprofit partners that have big aspirations for society.
What exactly makes a business purpose-driven?
The Harvard Business School shares that these are the businesses that are fighting some of the world’s greatest challenges. Purpose fits into organisations in several different ways. For example, customer-centric businesses think about how they can meaningfully and best serve people. A strong sustainability strategy is central to this purpose, guiding businesses to not only serve their customers but also to contribute positively to the planet and society.
The most prominent way to lead a purpose-driven business is by driving change. There are many advantages to embedding purpose in your organisation. Firstly, it helps to build a strong corporate culture, and culture has a knock-on effect on the employees in driving initiatives.
These initiatives then help to encourage customers to react positively and become more loyal to the business. While a lot of businesses are hesitant to embrace sustainability due to fears concerning their bottom line, adopting purpose can improve an organisation’s long-term financial performance. These businesses also drive industry change because their activities inspire other actors to follow suit.
Embedding purpose into your organisation is the key to securing business success and having a more positive impact on the world. These companies that are purpose-driven are not simply sustainable but are pioneers of sustainable innovation, acting as genuine changemakers. They inspire a call to action and are beyond profits alone.
They have found a way to produce profitable solutions to tackle problems the environment and people face. If you are interested in using your business as a force for societal good, our comprehensive business sustainability Diploma can help you get started. We will give you the tools and knowledge to drive your organisation’s sustainable transition so you can become a business with purpose.