POSTED 11 Jul 2018 - 12:33

How can profit and purpose be strategically aligned?

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What are SMEs doing to manage the two in Singapore's competitive business environment?
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David Nagrosst
11 Jul 2018 - 12:38

I have learned a lot from reading about Marc Benioff and his 1-1-1 model for doing good. Having a purpose in business beyond the product or service you sell is critical to becoming a high performing team and company.

People identify with companies that improve the lives of the community they live in, their neighbours, and the overall state of the world. You fight harder, work longer, and are more committed when you believe in the company you work for. Then it's not just a pay cheque!

Leaders are an important and critical part of establishing this kind of vision and participating in it. It's not just words but actions. Singapore needs to develop leaders who believe in this idea and the fact that it's not just about the bottom line.

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Sandie Overtveld
11 Jul 2018 - 12:37

Being a community-minded organisation is in our DNA. Zendesk has been wholeheartedly committed to tying profit and purpose to our business strategy since we were founded over 10 years ago. Businesses large and small, local and foreign, must step up their social responsibility efforts - not only because it is the right thing to do, but because giving back is now a vital part of operating a successful business.

There is plenty of research, as well as feedback from our own people, that proves that being a giving company drives employee retention and talent attraction, cultivates customer loyalty, safeguards corporate reputation, and helps grow your bottom line. It is also important to remember that it's not just money you can give, but your people's expertise and time.

CSR can no longer be treated as a "nice to have". It must be a core business focus.

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David Wirt
11 Jul 2018 - 12:36

Our capacity to give and help one another has been fundamental to society's progress. Successful organisations recognise that employees who have a higher purpose contribute to driving a sustainable, profitable business.

Pure Storage established the Pure Good Foundation in 2015 to deepen our employees' engagement with the global communities where we operate.

We uplift young people through education-based initiatives that are aligned with our mission to accelerate positive change by harnessing the power of people, technology and community. Several of our employees recently visited Vietnam to teach young orphans valuable technical skills.

By helping others, our employees get to see the impact of their work and become even more motivated to be at their best. The outcome is pure good.

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Alexis En
11 Jul 2018 - 12:36

Purpose and profit do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, Omron's own mission is to improve lives and contribute to a better society.

We can use technology to improve societal issues, such as when we created the world's first automated railway ticket gate system 40 years ago. The system helped relieve congestion at train stations during rush hour, which was a major problem in Japan at that time.

Similarly, businesses today use our robots to create safer and more efficient factories, and every day people use our healthcare devices to stay healthy and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The fact that we have been putting the betterment of society first for the past 85 years demonstrates that businesses can be profitable, while having a worthy purpose.

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Max Loh
11 Jul 2018 - 12:35

Purpose instills strategic clarity amid competitive distractions. It guides long-term perspectives, channels innovation that is focused on the "big picture", and empowers teams to look for solutions that deliver durable value and returns.

Leaders must breathe life into the company's purpose through everyday "talk and walk"; yet this CEO-centric view of activating purpose is inadequate: purpose must be owned by one and all in order for it to motivate and empower teams to be engaged and high-performing.

The strategic alignment is that when purpose is lived, profit will follow.

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Lauren Sorkin
11 Jul 2018 - 12:35

Companies need to think beyond corporate giving. To align profit and purpose is to understand how your business operates and contributes to the community, city, country. It's more important to align corporate behaviour and policy behind the opportunities and challenges in your operating environment and understand that as a company, you are part of a bigger system.

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