Why companies need to define their purpose.
Insights from Doing Good Doing Well.
The rules of the game have changed!
“MAXIMIZING SHAREHOLDER VALUE IS LIKE BREATHING: YOU NEED IT TO SURVIVE, BUT IT IS NOT YOUR PURPOSE, IT IS NOT WHAT YOU LIVE FOR.”
A purpose serves as a bridge: it connects us mentally and emotionally to why we do what we do and gives us a reason to do it.
We as humans are all purpose maximizers, but we need to know what motivates us. Because purpose is at our core, then we will be as efficient as we can.
The aspects that are not going to change in the age of disruption are the ones that matter: purpose, identity, values, beliefs. Having this defined gives clarity and helps decision making, which is very important to survive and prosper.
The purpose of a company needs to be customer centric: everything is made by people and for people. We are the ones that drive everything. It is all about the people!
And so, industries need to be rethought.
“YOUR PURPOSE IS THE ESSENCE WHICH YOU CANNOT ESCAPE FROM.”
Pablo Esteves, Managing Partner at Emzingo
A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
We are in a momentous period in human history where we are obliged to rethink the way businesses act and ask ourselves how businesses intersect with societies in a positive way.
Not only that, but society’s expectations of businesses are shifting.
New technologies bring in new challenges and also opportunities. We need to find out how to use them to our advantage. Keeping persons in mind.
RYAN GELLERT, PATAGONIA EMEA
It is now proven by thousands of companies that a business can do good by doing well, so there is no excuse.
When Patagonia talks about wanting to make the best product, they are imagining a product that you as a customer won’t need to buy ever again. This idea has made the business move away from consumerism. Patagonia outgrew the original mission statement, which now led the company to state that:
How? not focusing on the symptoms, but on the root cause.
– Listen to your customers.
– Understand if there is a movement from their part, and if not, ask why.
“DON’T FALL INTO A PATH WHERE YOU HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR VALUES AT HOME BEFORE GOING TO WORK.”
AND WHAT ABOUT US AS CONSUMERS?
Changing consumer behavior is key in order to make a true and lasting change.
What consumers say and what they do is different, and sometimes contradictory. CX can lead the way into understanding how to educate and follow what consumers are asking for.
– For example, in a circular economy, people are going to feel safe as long as they put materials back into the loop (recycling), and that is not enough. We need to think differently!
It is important to remember sustainability is not only about being green. It is about lasting in time, which takes into consideration various aspects like the internal governance of the business, supply chains, social impact and the way companies handle environmental implications, amongst many more.
Now, if you don’t do well you don’t do good as a business! Consumers, investors, employees are pressuring for a change.
“WE’VE LOST THE RIGHT TO BE PESSIMISTIC, WE DON’T HAVE TIME ANYMORE. ACT!
HOW IS SUSTAINABILITY CONNECTED WITH CX?
Sustainability started to become mainstream because of consumers, they were the ones that put it on the map. It is a clear example of a movement that started from the bottom up, starting with the people and moving its way up to businesses and governments.
The speech has clearly evolved from “can sustainability and profitability be compatible?” to “you need to be sustainable to be profitable” because in the long run customers are the ones that keep businesses alive.
It’s up to us to take responsibility and act.
Elvira is a Customer Experience and Innovation professional with experience in consulting and social responsibility, constantly looking for experiences that foster new challenges and contribute to her passion on issues related to sustainability, social impact and innovation.