The Purpose of Business Is to Contribute to the Common Good - Deepstash

The Purpose of Business Is to Contribute to the Common Good

For business to be part of the solution to our collective challenges, we leaders must see companies not as soulless moneymaking entities but as “human organizations” made of individuals working together in support of a shared goal. This goal must contribute to the common good by making a positive difference in people’s lives — what author and consultant Lisa Earle McLeod calls a “noble purpose.” In this approach, making money remains an imperative, but profits are not the ultimate objective; rather, they are the outcome of a successful strategy rooted in purpose.

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Leaders' role changed in three fundamental ways:

1) it is no longer about maximizing shareholder value; it is about making a positive difference in the world. 

2) the leaders' job is to maximize performance not by choosing among stakeholders but by embracing, mobilizing, and serving all of them in line with a noble purpose, and refusing zero-sum games along the way. 

3) the purposeful human organization cannot flourish with the traditional top-down model of the powerful and infailible hero-leader. What is required now is a leadership approach that puts purpose and people at the heart of business.

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How can we as leaders transform companies into places where all employees are willing and able to give their very best, not only to customers but to each other, to suppliers, to their communities, and to shareholders?

The foundation or spark of this magic is to treat work as an essential element of people’s humanity and as a way of finding meaning and fulfillment in life. Start by asking yourself and people across your organization, “What drives you?”. The answer helps people discover a sense of personal purpose, which in turn determines how they relate to their work.

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Leaders, employees, customers, shareholders, and citizens are looking to achieve new levels of success that is wider, deeper, and more sustaining.

This creates an uncommon opportunity for companies that don't operate by default - they don't continue in the tried-and-tested or dabble around the edges. With clarity and intention, companies can design their future.

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Because of the current pandemic, companies have had to re-evaluate their purpose. This is to say that smart companies apply the smart generosity concept, according to which employees and stakeholders come before the shareholders. It is worth mentioning that the central part in all this goes to the employees, as they are the ones ensuring the good functioning of the company.

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Your CSR Strategy

As more companies commit to adopting CSR strategies that address environmental and social issues, it’s becoming more important than ever for these strategies to be goal-driven, ambitious yet achievable, and authentic.

Outlined below are six tips for companies to develop this kind of CSR strategy: Get buy-in from executives, determine material issues, align goals to company values and culture, establish a goal framework, create a system of implementation and accountability, and deliver transparent reporting.

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