Purpose and the 4 P's

Our research and experiences over the last two decades have identified 5 critical transformational activities in becoming a high performance business, allowing companies to forge a path to be one step ahead of the competition. 

Looking ahead to the next decade, we believe purposefully leading change will come to the fore where it will become increasingly important and relevant for leaders to identify the purpose of their businesses and relate that to the relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Recent research confirms that over 80% of businesses state that they are facing a skills gap. This comes at a time of a global shortage of labour. Recruitment is becoming more difficult. Wages are rising. Retention of staff is a concern with too much ‘churn’ reported in too many companies. In the UK, 91% of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged. Any surprise that people enjoy ‘working from home’ and are reluctant to come back to the workplace? This feeds into productivity statistics that suggests a worker in Germany is 35% more productive than a person doing the same job in the UK. Imagine closing that gap? Humankind is also faced with a series of global challenges captured in part by the SDGs. However, the SDGs do not fit easily into how businesses function. Something must change. 

If we say countries and companies are ‘entities’ then 150 of the top 200 largest entities in the world, defined by size, are companies. This suggests that businesses should be playing a huge and crucial part in managing the planet and not leaving it to the politicians. Businesses developing a purpose is of paramount importance.   

What can leaders do?  

Purpose and the 4Ps can sit together: 

  • Purpose 
  • People 
  • Planet and communities
  • Productivity
  • Profitability  

Moreover, indeed be fused together, to create a new elixir of life, a way of living and doing business. We call that Good Dividends. 

As businesspeople we can play our part by engaging with things in our influence. Below, we lay out some suggestions to engaging with all to motivate colleagues and to develop and meet the needs of our businesses in the months and years to come. Think of it as purposefully leading change: 

1. Identify the business purpose – ‘why’ the business does what it does. Purpose is the motivational element that inspires people to give of their best. Try our helpful link and use the SDGs to guide your thinking. The SDGs can help you consider the impact that your actions have on the planet and communities that you operate within. 

2. It is said that the productivity levels in Germany are at such a high level that a German worker can produce in four days what a Brit does in five. Let’s engage our people, our colleagues, who know how do the job better than leaders/managers, and strip out wasteful processes so that we can do our work in four days.

3. On the 5th day, let’s use the day to do two things: 

a. Encourage our people to spend the morning learning a new skill: this begins to address the ‘skill gap’ with businesses taking responsibility for training and development rather than leaving it to others 

b. Spend the afternoon innovating, improving and actioning key learning points (from the morning’s learning): this will massively improve engagement levels with people’s voices being heard, new ideas put forward and changes made. 

We know from the work being done on Good Dividends pioneered by Professor Steve Kempster that becoming purpose-led delivers good for the communities that we live in, improves the business’ reputation/brand and, by developing staff then productivity rises, engagement improves as does the number of ideas (innovation). Together, this positively impacts the planet and profitability. A win, win for all. 

So here is our Call to Action for leaders – position your business to become a force for good by establishing a purpose that inspires your people; develop your skills and the skills of your people to achieve the desired change. 

As you consider the opportunities and challenges you are currently facing, why not get in touch to see how we may be able to help you? To speak to one of the team, please contact us here.

 

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