British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Published 7 months ago.
About a 5 minute read.
Image: Kristie Amadio
/ This article is sponsored by
British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
Even though a social-purpose model seemed like a natural fit for BCLC, we knew there would be many questions to answer before we could start to deliver on a social purpose. Now, we are reflecting on some of the key steps and insights gained through our approach.
When the British Columbia Lottery Corporation
(BCLC) first set out on our journey toward social purpose in 2020, our
leadership knew there would be a lot to learn and a long way to go.
Even though a social-purpose model of business seemed like a natural fit for
BCLC recognized there would be many questions to answer before we could start to
deliver on a social purpose. To get going, we engaged other social-purpose
leaders and other stakeholders, including our own people and the many partners
in our network.
Now, we are reflecting on some of the key steps taken early in our
and sharing some of the insights gained through our cooperative approach.
“For us, ‘generating win-wins for the greater
means collaborating to create value for all people that interact with BCLC – and
value even beyond those interactions,” said Chris
Fairclough, Director of Social
Purpose and Community & Stakeholder Engagement at BCLC. “Contributing to the
resources that are available to new social-purpose companies and those making
the transition has been a special part of the movement we’re trying to help
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Whether we were determining our social purpose, considering our marketing or
revisiting our employee
there was one element of the process that couldn’t be skipped: deep listening.
As we have learned through these stages and from other social-purpose leaders,
deep listening invites people to wholly engage in a dialogue that won’t just
amount to pages of notes tossed aside and disregarded. Instead, deep listeners
take thoughtful feedback to heart and use the insight they gain to inform the
This past April, BCLC engaged with the team at Sustainable Brands® to
host a Social Purpose and Brand Agency Summit with all our marketing
agencies to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. From deep listening
comes understanding; and with understanding, it becomes easier to determine what
brings people together and locate alignment within your network.
Further to deep listening, the very idea that a social-purpose company motivates
its people and consumers based on an emotional connection to their values was
discussed in the first research paper commissioned by BCLC, Marketing on Purpose.
We continue to consider the
in our own marketing practices. The transformation to a social-purpose company
necessitates a shift from traditional ways of advertising to new ones that
inspire behaviour change, foster loyalty and build a community that gathers
around the cause. BCLC has enhanced how we integrate storytelling within our
internal communications as one way of reaching people with our social purpose.
As anyone working in this space will tell you, social purpose can’t be lip
service alone. But, when storytelling is done
it’s more than just words: it’s another element of what brings social purpose to
life. As we are learning, storytelling strengthens your audience’s connection to
what you’re accomplishing through your purpose – and it can make them great
champions for your brand, too.
When BCLC declared our social purpose, we knew that our people would play a
significant role in helping to generate win-wins across the organization and
beyond. We knew that embedding social purpose into company culture was essential
to introducing and sustaining belief in the company’s core values among our
We have since integrated purpose into our people and culture programs in a
handful of impactful
As we have started to experience, social-purpose companies that make these
investments into their people and foster a sense of belonging within their
culture will see their employees become great ambassadors for their
Everyone knows it: The journey to social purpose is long term. Transformation
takes a sustained effort by the entire organization – both top-down and
bottom-up; to stay consistent, continue momentum and keep on the trail of that
“While BCLC is encouraged by what we’ve started, we’re even more motivated by
the massive opportunities that still exist to manifest our social purpose, both
inside and outside the organization,” Fairclough said.
Driving social purpose through BCLC’s overarching strategy and threading it
through every pillar of the business is key to keeping the door open to those
While we continue to consider social purpose from the macro of our corporate
strategy and the micro of our daily decisions, another opportunity on the
horizon is a review into our product and experiential offerings.
“We’ve always considered how looking at each and every one of our products with
a purpose lens is an important way we could deliver on that stated purpose,”
said Richard Fenster, Director of
Corporate Strategy at BCLC. “This is where the rubber will really start to meet
the road. We have a chance here to create more positive social impacts through
our products and operations, and that’s a chance we’re eager to take.”
With plans to keep maturing as a social-purpose company – by listening deeply,
telling stories, nurturing culture, conducting research, sharing knowledge and
more – at BCLC, our eyes are firmly on the social purpose trail ahead with one
foot always forward.
Published Jul 13, 2023 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.