Published 1 week ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: Kindel Media
More and more companies are adopting a social
as the reason for being. There are different definitions of a social-purpose
business; but fundamentally, it is a business whose reason for being is to
create a better world. This includes profitably solving the problems of people
and planet while not causing harm to them in doing so. It is the company’s
optimal strategic contribution to long-term wellbeing for all.
Purposeful businesses go beyond mere declarations; they actively integrate their
purpose into everything they do. Failure to do so puts them at risk of
Execution of their purpose involves embedding it in
— all the way through the internal audit and risk
Given the importance of metrics to steer a company on its purpose journey,
marketers and human resource managers need a gauge of social purpose take-up
within customer segments and the workforce. Leading companies are turning to
to measure the company’s purpose authenticity and the stakeholders’ alignment
and willingness to engage on the purpose. Here are a few examples of these survey questions: “I believe the company is authentic and
purpose-driven,” “By being in a relationship with this company, I feel I
contribute to making the world a better place,” and “I feel inspired to
contribute to the company’s purpose.”
But to really get purpose liftoff, businesses should spend the first six months
to a year raising internal awareness of the new purpose, helping employees
understand how a social purpose business differs from other types of business,
and equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to bring the company’s
purpose to life in their own roles, teams, and departments.
While this tool doesn’t cover all roles, as it is geared to those in
professional functions, here is a guide to help employees, particularly at the
management and leadership levels, become a “Social-Purpose
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A social-purpose professional is a senior leader in a purpose-driven company who
not only embraces the organization’s social purpose but also seeks to embed it
in their department and functional teams, and even across their broader
profession. They become a force for good in their organization and beyond. They
encourage other businesses in their ecosystem to adopt a social purpose and
engage professional peers within and outside the organization to become
purpose-driven. They are role models for social-purpose decision-making, and
actively champion social purpose within and beyond their organization and
The benefits are manifold. Naturally, a social-purpose professional can help
guide the company to authentically implement its purpose and mitigate the risk
of it being accused of purpose-washing. A living corporate social purpose will
help you attract, engage and motivate values-based employees and teams; and will
build your personal brand within and outside the company. This social-purpose
can be added to your resume and — most importantly — bring more meaning to your
The Social-Purpose Professional
is a must-read resource for employees in social-purpose companies to stretch
your thinking about how you can help bring your company’s purpose to life. It
includes tips on:
Learning about social purpose
Establishing a social-purpose peer reference group or community of practice
Engaging your team to integrate social purpose in its mandate
Mobilizing your ecosystem to take up social purpose
Adopting a personal purpose
Building your profile as a purpose-driven leader
Examples of social-purpose professionals abound, as they passionately drive
purpose forward and leverage their personal influence in their organizations and
beyond to advance the purpose
A recent example involves Tom
Chervinsky, a government-relations
leader on the public-policy team at global technology company
TELUS, who is reaching out to counterparts of other
social-purpose companies — inviting them to participate in a federal government
campaign to make Canada a hub for social-purpose business. He believes doing
so is an extension of his mandate to help his company and his community thrive.
He wants to play a meaningful role furthering social purpose in business, to
bring his company’s own purpose – to leverage technology and compassion to
enable remarkable human outcomes – to life.
Regardless of your company’s social purpose or your role within the company,
there are numerous tangible ways to use your career as a greater force for good.
You’ll make your own job — and your life — more rewarding; and at the same time,
help your organization to be part of creating a better world.
Published Nov 21, 2023 8am EST / 5am PST / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET