Feb 2021

Putting Purpose at the Center of Your Business

Published February 2021

How do we live out our corporate values with integrity? It’s something that is easy to say, but not as easy to do. Too often, corporate values become either a shield against justified criticism or merely some meaningless statements we articulate to seem more attractive.

Tobias Sturesson interviews Jay Jakub, Economics of Mutuality Chief Advocacy Officer, on The Leading Transformational Change Podcast. Their insightful conversation explores how Mars, Incorporated, a 38-billion-dollar privately owned company, lives out its values in a world that often prefers self-interest over unity. Be inspired to put purpose back where it belongs so your business can truly experience unity and cohesiveness.

A short extract of Jay’s contribution has been transcribed below:

We’ve looked at lots and lots of purpose statements, and none of them actually say “to maximise profit for distribution to shareholders”, which is what their business model actually delivers.

But if you think about the P&L – the profit and loss statement, the management accounts for a company – it’s like a filter for the purpose. The purpose goes through this purely financial P&L and it comes out the other side with a set of incentives that the managers have to deliver – purely profit-driven motives and outcomes that can often be completely contrary to the purpose that the company says it stands for.

So, what happens when consumers start to realize that the purpose statements of businesses are actually not being delivered by those businesses through their business models and behvaiors? Well, the businesses will then create even bigger and more ambitious purposes that they are not suited to deliver. It becomes almost like a ponzi scheme.


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