Prioritizing Purpose Over Profit Is Key to Consistent Growth and Sustainable Profit


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What has remained constant in the last couple of years has been the changing metrics of the market. Business environments around every niche are witnessing a gigantic increase in “socially driven-for-profit” companies.

And what’s beautiful about the core values of these organizations? Their purpose and method of generating profit closely uplift social and community outcomes in a more extensive way — balancing digital innovations seamlessly with sustainability. The rapid adoption of technology across industries has changed how businesses perceive growth. This is also because end-users and consumers can now access the insights and tools to judge corporate values.

Related: Purpose-Driven Companies Grow 3 Times Faster — So Here’s How to Become One Without Sacrificing Profit.

What led to the upsurge of a mission-driven mindset in business?

We are in the advanced era of industrial transformation, ruled by data-empowered technology. Our access to actionable data is helping us constantly reimagine our day-to-day operations, interactions and consumption patterns. However, this graphical evolution and use of business data have also exposed our business environments to innumerable risks and complexities.

The good news is that this data interoperability has also equipped business leaders like us to transform our business models, value and supply chains with sustainability. It is here that you must answer the most crucial question:

How do you survive a faster future?

It drives digital transformations with an analytical view of mission and purpose. I would say that today’s business leaders must prioritize sustainability transformation hand-in-hand with digital transformation.

Digital transformation makes us more agile and smart while taking our businesses towards more efficiency and profitability – bridging our gaps towards addressing actual consumer needs, evolving market demands and increasing real revenue. Sustainable transformation informs us of our responsibility toward collective decarbonization and the need for more sustainable growth.

I perceive it as a check and balance towards the chase of financial profits – pushing business leaders towards low-carbon economies, blending purpose and profit to a level that businesses genuinely create a ripple of sustainability across industries. I also believe that leaders who drive their businesses with a strong sense of purpose end up building generational businesses.

We’ll certainly discuss the advantages of building a mission-driven business, but first, I’d like to throw some light on the flip side – the challenges that you, as a leader and your business, could face.

The downside of mission-driven businesses

While the thought of leading a business with a purpose-driven mission sounds fancy, business leaders face several complications in implementing one.

Purpose versus profit

It’s undeniable that running a business is ultimately about filling in the balance sheets. Numerous purpose-minded leaders are torn between the need to scale up profits and the zeal to make a difference. Talking from experience, it’s hard to talk about making a difference when apparent profits are at stake. However, looking at the sustainability parameters is non-negotiable to reap the benefits of resilient growth.

Convincing crucial stakeholders

Modern businesses aren’t a one-man show. They thrive on financial and cerebral investments from several stakeholders. CEOs and business leaders often have difficulty bringing all stakeholders on the page for their mission. While the pull for profit is undeniable, the wisest of leaders make stakeholders see the reason behind sustainable businesses and the benefits they will reap in the long run.

Commitment to the mission

In my observation, you can bring in-house and external stakeholders together for your sustainable mission only when you yourself are the biggest believer in the cause. A mission to drive change and bring sustainable growth to your business isn’t a one-day exercise; it is a thorough change by design. While several external factors might pressure you to move from your commitment to drive a sustainable change in business, you need to invest continuous efforts to stay aligned.

Now, let’s examine the potential gains your business can achieve with a mission-driven approach.

Related: If You Want People to Follow You, Stop Being a Boss — 8 Steps to Truly Effective Leadership

How a purpose-driven mission is effective for business?

Amplifying corporate trust

Building a culture of purpose is essential in a corporate setting because when the leaders show unwavering trust in their mission, stakeholders — both internal and external — gain confidence about growth. This is, in fact, the secret of a high-performance organization, as employees and crucial financial stakeholders tend to bank on a business that’s committed to building an inclusive and mutually beneficial community.

Enhancing a culture of innovation

A higher degree of trust also closely relates to the scope of innovation in business. It is not just about being creative; most stakeholders tend to trust mission-driven firms to support responsible creativity. Businesses that foster a culture of giving back to society can historically capture the market with their new launch of products and services. Mission-driven businesses attract market trust on a massive level, enabling such firms to innovate at scale.

Better talent attraction

The parameters for talent satisfaction in the workplace have radically changed over the years. Beyond compensation, it is a larger sense of security and purpose that drives the neo-modern workforce. You can look at talent acquisition and retention surveys that organizations with a solid corporate and societal purpose acquire the best talents in the market and drive further sustainable growth through them.

Tying it together

Organizational purpose and mission are not just on-paper statements. They are essential growth strategies for fast-growing firms. On one end, as much as you must strive to drive digital transformation across your organization, you should equally work on integrating sustainability into the equation.

To champion a genuinely new narrative and survive a faster future, you must determine how you, as a leader, and your business contribute to the community. Your business can be purposeful and profitable simultaneously, and that happens only when you strategically weave sustainable innovation into your organizational DNA.

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