- London-based thought leader and global advisor in HR, marketing, communications and sustainability.
- Career at Unilever spanning 25 years, culminating with his leading the company's groundbreaking work in business model transformation with purpose at its core.
- Previous roles at the company have included work across Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Unilever is a global corporation with turnover of £50 billion and 150,000 employees in 90 countries.
- A sought-after speaker, he inspires and provokes organizations to put purpose at the center of everything they do. Has spoken at Cambridge University, Warwick and Oxford as well as corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, and Africa.
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Purposeful Business - Doing Well by Doing Good
A new way of doing business is gaining ground among global companies who are looking for long-term viability without giving up short-term financial success.
These forward-looking corporations are breaking from Fortune 500 tradition and basing their success on the positive impact they have socially and on the environment. They are creating a new model for business based on "purpose" – on becoming a force for good in the world rather than just seeking to maximize their profits.
It may sound counterintuitive, but companies that become "purpose-driven," viewing their primary mission as no longer simply turning a profit, actually are acting in their own best interests. Companies that have embraced purposeful business are already seeing increases in productivity and profit, while also ensuring their long-term viability.
We have come to a point in history where we can no longer ignore the major social and environmental forces that are colliding:
- There is a growing awareness that Capitalism 1.0 is not working and ignores the social and physical limits the world now faces.
- We have a crisis in liquidity, and a crisis in reliability.
- People have lost confidence in and no longer trust companies the way they once did.
- People want to work for and do business with companies they genuinely respect and trust.
- Absenteeism is on the rise and is often associated with stress-related illnesses.
- Growing employee dissatisfaction is having a big impact on productivity and profitability.
- There's a growing awareness that the planet cannot indefinitely support our habits of wasteful consumption.
- The world's population will grow to 9.6 billion by 2050, and will test the limits of human existence, both socially and in terms of the environment.
To be successful in the long term, companies must take the actual needs of the people and the physical limits of the planet into account. When a company does this, it can have an enormously positive effect. It is not only possible to "do well by doing good." This is also the single best way to ensure that your company will still exist in another 100 years.
Unilever is a global company, operating in 190 countries around the world with 174,000 people on its payroll. Over the last four years, Unilever has begun to shift its business model. While still working to grow and become more profitable, Unilever has also made a commitment to put purpose at the very core of everything it does.
At Unilever, purpose is not relegated to a "corporate social responsibility" department that sits on the sidelines and gives money out to various charities. It's woven into the very fabric of the company, and embedded throughout its entire business cycle. Purpose is central to the way it treats its employees and central to how the company develops, manufactures, markets and distributes its products.
Purpose has become the priority. It is a unifying process that affects everything the company does.
The result? Unilver has enjoyed unprecedented growth and profitability. Its brands are more trusted now than ever. It has gone from a $40 billion business to a $50 billion business. Its stock value has more than doubled. Absenteeism is down, employee satisfaction is at an all-time high, and the company has no trouble attracting and retaining top talent. Unilever is truly "doing well by doing good".