The recent Business Fights Poverty event around ‘purpose’ made our London Partner Sarah Stein think. A lot. Here are her reflections.
The introduction to the meeting was that ‘purpose, when embedded into a business, can be a powerful driver for business performance and positive societal change’. I attended out of an interest in sustainability and purpose within businesses and it was an eye-opening event and a reassurance in these times of change.
As someone delivering and developing strategies around what a business really stands for, and how it can be understood and lived by employees, the day was very thought provoking and hugely inspiring. It raised many questions around the sustainability of businesses and whether this should be at the core of what a business stands for.
My own conclusions are that businesses should always strive to be sustainable. They should always have a higher articulated purpose than just making money. Employee buy-in and passion need to be harnessed to deliver a successful business model and this has to be at the core of what we all do. This means that people are always at the heart of what businesses offer and that this results in great change – to individuals, groups of people, the society in which we operate and the successful businesses we work with.
The sustainable business also needs to be there for the long-term. Short term thinking will never generate a return on investment in my opinion. Longevity, through planning and insight, will deliver returns and this is proven time and time again. By being a responsible business, in all senses of the word, positive change will happen, and all involved will reap the rewards personally and as a society at large.
At Genoa Black, we have recently been through an internal visioning exercise. Not only was purpose at the heart of our discussions as a team, sustainability was core to our belief set as individuals and as a business. To be part of a business with these ideas put into practise in everything we do is inspiring. That a business can truly deliver such things in this ever-changing world is reassuring and it means we can pass these practices on to our clients with conviction and belief.