Herman Trend Alert: Purpose Emerging as Important Driver of Engagement, May 16, 2012
Recently, there has been a dramatic shift in employee attitudes towards work. A new report by global brand consultancy Calling Brands reveals a change in employee attitudes towards work. Related closely to Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate “Purpose” is emerging as a powerful new driver of attraction, retention, and productivity.
Here’s a rough summary of our worldview: excellence = design x culture. Your job as a leader is to get both right. You must build a winning structure for your organization and then foster the often unspoken rules and values that will bring that…
A couple of years ago, Yvon Chouinard—founder of the outdoor—clothing brand Patagonia—gave a talk at a sustainable-fisheries conference in Vancouver. He’d been invited to speak in recognition of Patagonia’s longtime commitment to environmental issues and its reputation as a company that manages to churn out profit while minimizing ecological impact. Chouinard delivered his spiel, but he came away frustrated by the surprising ignorance of his audience. “They didn’t know what they were doing,” he says of the seafood merchants. “They had no idea about toxins, about incidental catch. Their customers are all going to want to know this stuff soon. Restaurants will want to know.”
Many I talk to feel American business is losing its completive edge because employees tiptoe around issues and management discourages healthy debate. In an effort to avoid the negative consequences of conflict and to be overly sensitive to others’ feelings we’ve become a nation a risk-avoiders, less a country of bold-innovators.
92% of millennials say in a survey that a company’s success should be measured by more than profit, and over 50% say they think businesses will have a greater impact than any other societal segment—including government—on solving the world’s biggest challenges. In a survey of more than 1,000 of its employees born after 1981, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu found that when respondents were asked to name three terms that encapsulate the purpose of business, 51% cited societal development and only 39% cited profit.
26 years ago the Challenger shuttle exploded on takeoff and 9 years ago the Columbia shuttle exploded on landing. As tragic as they were, what lessons can these accidents teach us that we can apply in business?
Commonly used business and leadership models created a 100 years ago are outdated and ineffective in today’s innovation age. To survive and thrive in the 21st century leaders need basic “success” competencies and new “significance” competencies. This assessment will measure both and provide action-oriented recommendations in areas needing more attention.