So often we try to ‘cut to the chase’, ‘get to the point’. Or we’re told not to ‘beat around the bush’, and we don’t want to ‘get in the weeds’. However, as we look more closely at the changing dynamics of organizations that choose to have a larger role to play, beyond the objective of profit focus and shareholder value, perhaps getting into the weeds is exactly what is needed. The planting of the seeds of change and changing corporate focus may have been just beginning five years ago, but now these ideas have taken root and need to be cultivated. There is a surge in impact investing, there is the great wealth transfer, but other issues and distractions and tangents have also emanated. The weeds. And we now have a responsibility to stop thinking about corporate social responsibility as an appendage and thinking of it more as the blood or the DNA within an organization that chooses to take a fundamental shift.
It’s important to recognize that there has been a resistance to the natural segue of companies seeing purpose as an appendage and companies having impact focus and making the difference they claim is of critical importance. We could spend a whole lifetime reading about the vision and what it should be, but nobody has rolled up their sleeves and spoken about the how. That is ultimately why Prosono is a necessity. That's why we have the methodology and the processes we do, and the people, products and services we do. We ARE the how. When executives and boards don't understand the goal, the importance, or the how-to, then no one will ever reap the rewards, the harvest of progress. This confusion can be assuaged by quantitative measurement of the difference being effected. When we can tie purpose-driven programs to a return on investment and positive financial results, then CEOs will be more likely to consider this as an essential part of doing business, not just the add-on. Purpose-driven work needs to be embraced as a strategy initiative, yet all the while, recognize shareholder primacy. It needs to be brought forward from some of the minimizing and marginalizing, the weeds, into greater prominence for greater growth.
The culture shift is happening. And management, whether emanating from private enterprise, non-profit and/or a publicly-traded enterprise will need to adjust in terms of adopting a purpose-driven approach. Perhaps the evolution of career opportunity vis a vis roles for those working on behalf of purpose-driven agenda items will revolutionize administrative hierarchy. Positions for Chief Purpose Officers should rise to the same levels as Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers. Further, whether due to crisis or times of stability, if an issue is relevant to what you do as a business, there are expectations you will stand up for what's right. Prosono has been an example of this mental shift which allows for purpose-driven focus and preparation no matter the origin of concern. It is time to move beyond. It is okay to move beyond ‘not seeing the forest for the trees’, as long as we are willing at times to see the trees, pull the weeds, and prepare for the challenges on the open road. Driving with purpose.