Purposeful Leadership Insights for 2019

 
Purposeful Leadership Insights

Purposeful leadership reflects something more aspirational than an economic exchange. It aims to bring people in an organisation together around making a difference; it gives them a sense of meaning, and it draws their support. People are happier & more productive when their leaders show strong morals, a clear vision and commitment to stakeholders. As consumers, employees and key stakeholders, we increasingly expect an organisational purpose that goes beyond a mere focus on the bottom line.

The importance of purposeful leadership is growing during these times of unprecedented & accelerated change. The increasingly complex and demanding environment we currently live in is placing organisational leadership in the spotlight… just look at the 2017-18 Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking and Services Industry in Australia; or the growing focus of millennials towards purposeful business. These pressures are forcing senior leadership to consider the impact their decisions are having beyond profit, to include both people and planet.

Larry Fink is widely recognised as one of the primary leaders of purposeful business. In his 2019 Letter to CEOs, Fink highlights the greater importance of purposeful leadership to solve some of our most pressing challenges - “the world needs [purposeful leadership]… companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity. Companies cannot solve every issue of public importance, but there are many – from retirement to infrastructure to preparing workers for the jobs of the future – that cannot be solved without corporate leadership”.

“At a time of great political and economic disruption, your leadership is indispensable” - Larry Fink (CEO, BlackRock).

In 2019, purposeful business is set to continue to grow - but not without those willing to lead it.

In line with the conversation around purposeful leadership, Hatched has been conducting interviews to be released this year called Purpose Journeys. Purpose Journeys is a series of inspiring & insightful conversations with the CEO’s & Founders of some of the most progressive and impactful businesses.

With this growing bank of knowledge & wisdom at our fingertips, and a new year beginning, here are 5 Purposeful Leadership Insights for 2019:

1. Focus on leading, not on being a leader.

Think about the verb to lead, rather than the noun leader. That frames it in a completely different light, right? Bear with it for a second… There is a slight complexity around striving to be a ‘leader’, as opposed to ‘leading’, which is that when one focuses on being a leader, people tend see you as an icon. As a result, they can get locked up in the image of the leader, and are often distracted from the fundamental message being communicated.


2. Leadership is the greatest test of humility.

CEOs and Founders are either admitting they don’t know something, asking for help, or apologising for doing the wrong thing. Responsibility, honesty and accountability are key attributes of leadership that ensure that the overall group objective is placed above individual ego. In fact, what leaders agree we should say to people is that we know we don’t get it all right, we just hope we get it right more than we get it wrong.


3. Put Purpose at the Center of Your Message

‘The modern workplace is as much a battle for hearts and minds as it is one of rules and duties’ a study from Sussex University in the UK shows. People respond to leaders who care not just about themselves but wider society, who have strong morals and ethics, and who behave with purpose. When placing an authentic purpose at the centre of your message, people do more… and they do it better. Employees are less likely to quit, more satisfied, willing to go the extra mile, better performers and less cynical. They spring into work full of joy and they transmit that to your clients. It is such a powerful business tool to engage people that way.


4. Pick your Field of Communication.

With an authentic, deeper purpose for people to connect with, it is crucial that the message is effectively received. When thinking about communication and leading, we should consider what field we meet people on. Should I meet you on the field of logic & data? On beliefs and emotions? Or should I communicate my message through cases and metaphors? For example, when dealing with a group of experts around the environmental impacts of Product A, it might be more effective to communicate using logic and data; versus communicating with a group of volunteers & donors, who might respond best to examples or cases.


5. Don’t look to be a perfect leader, look to complement organisational purpose.

The real challenge is not obtaining a perfect match between leader and organisational purpose, but in ensuring they complement each other. This can be seen as a balancing act - giving individual leaders an opportunity to contribute most effectively to organisational purpose, without compromising on their own individual values. The result is an organic relationship where individual and organisation compliment and contribute to each one’s end goal.


Purposeful leadership may seem to some just an ideal, but to lead people down a purposeful path helps them find meaning in their work. They are more dedicated. They give their time freely. They progress rather than stagnate, and as a result, so does the business… and society along with it. 





 

Demonstrate - Impact Measurement

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We are about to launch our new Impact Measurement framework called Demonstrate!

It's the missing piece of our framework and flows perfectly from designing your Impact Model and delivering your Impact Initiatives. It's one of the biggest challenges for any impact-driven organisation. As part of the approach, we have also developed a way to hold both profit and purpose side-by-side by setting metrics that will work alongside financials.

Exciting times. Contact us at hello@hatched.io to find out more, or sign up to receive our upcoming Demonstrate Pack.

Solving a problem you created in the first place.

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Ouch.

Social media has been ablaze with comments about the Coles plastic bag double u-turn. 

Burberry burning 28 million GPB of clothes and perfume.

You can bet there's another twitter meltdown happening right now.

 

On one hand, we are happy that we are finally talking about it.

On the other, we know we need a better way to solve such a systemic problem.

 

Last year Hatched ran a workshop to explore the creation of a denim recycling system.

One of the participants had recently re-uniformed all its 10,000+ staff.  

They were advised on the most effective way to dispose of hundreds of tonnes of clothing.

The solution, to dig a huge ditch and burn it.  

True story.

 

Yesterday, one of the Hatched team reluctantly walked into a Coles supermarket. 

With a huge basket hanging from their shoulder.  

They were repeatedly asked if they wanted a plastic bag.

After saying no, they even put the groceries in the plastic bag.

Not once, but twice.

 

Just look at fast fashion, fast groceries, fast bottled water.

What have they done over the last couple of decades? 

Make lots of money, as fast and efficiently as possible.

To do that, they changed our behaviour.

We started drinking bottled water instead of bringing our own.

We used endless amounts of plastic grocery bags.

We bought clothes, one after the other, after the other, until our wardrobes burst.

So the companies starting burning clothes we didn’t buy.

Our sea started to fill up with bottle water we drunk and threw away.

Our land started to fill up with the plastic bags we used just once.

And, we didn’t really ever want any of it.

We certainly didn’t ever need any of it.

Though amazing marketing, product placement and store design we thought we did. 

We now realise we ****** up.

 

So how do you unwind it? 

Well, first of all, we all need to decide as consumers we want to change.

This is happening, just not everywhere.

Then, companies need to lead the charge.

They can’t just do this just for good PR.

They need to change the behaviour they created in the first place.

They need to unwind the entire system.

They need to use the evil tactics that tricked the majority of us, for good.

Educate us on how to make the change - use marketing for good.

Sell us solutions we’ll love – use your product and design for good

Make buying good, easy – use your process optimisation for good.

Change store designs and product placement - use your visual merchanting to sell good stuff.

Run your business better – use your governance and leadership for good. 

 

Not using plastic bags, wasn’t really about not offering plastic bags

It was about providing us with viable alternatives

It was about creating a whole new customer experience to delight and empower us.

It was about changing the entire checkout process

It was about empowering and training staff to help us make the transition

It was about using stories, marketing and advertising for education not selling more stuff.

It was also about getting out of our way.

If they did this.

We wouldn’t be still using plastic bags but paying 15c for them.

Purpose manages distruption (it really does!)

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Purpose is serious business.  Yes, it delivers all that's warm and fuzzy. But there's something bigger going on here.  Something REALLY BIG.   Something called emerging risk management (fancy!). 

The reason why we started Hatched is that purpose actively manages potential disruption helping you navigate the significant challenges your business is currently facing. The ones that put you out of business. It's not just good for your people, our society, and the planet; its also good governance.  

Purpose is the key ingredient that helps you better know yourself and in turn, helps you thrive in a constant environment of change because you are actively managing it.

So get your purpose on people and manage the **** out of those emerging risks.  Our clients are doing it, you can too.

Starting Good Virtual Summit

Hatched is part of the Starting Good summit and watch my talk which goes live Monday morning 26th of March  http://www.starting.gd

Also heaps of other amazing speakers including Muhammad Yunus, Jan Owen, Peter Singer, Flow Hive, Tim Jones - The Grow GoodTop 

My top tip is to go visual, rip up your business plan, business canvas, framework, stop reading business books and simply visualise your impact model so people get it. Do the business'y stuff later.

Purpose.do Festival

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Our Purpose Wrap!

It was so great to be part of Purpose.do again.  It's hands down the best conference we've ever been to.

For starters just check out this quote

"Life creates the conditions for life" Paul Hawken on healing our planet.

So what did we get up to?   Hatched was on two panels

1. Discussing what is beyond Corporate Social Responsibility.  We spoke with other amazing business leaders:  Susie Bayes, Guardian Australia; Siobhan Toohill @verdantflaneur, Westpac; @drdavidcooke, Konika Minolta; Min Wah, @OxfamAustralia

2. Discussing collabroation across the purpose sector with B Corp, Future Business Council, Conscious Capitalism Australia, Fairtrade and PwC Indigenous Consulting.

Here's a couple of quotes from Hatched that were captured

  • "If you've not doing purpose, then you're not doing business."
  • "Let's stop talking about corporate social responsibility and get real by making it everyone's job, in every business" 
  • "Old school business metrics correlate with improving purpose metrics.  Pick any profit, share price, customer or staff satisfaction, and you'll see purposeful business outperforming traditional business"
  • "Profit for purpose is the future. Let's change the legal framework but for now use social enterprise status as the source for innovation, not something that holds you back."
  • "I'd love to see people from seemingly competing movements say "I'll spend 10% of my time on your part, and you spend 10% of your time on mine and see the magic happen"
  • "Partnerships are the key to impact and innovation, but it's hard to do. Find values aligned partners, trust your instincts, spend time with them and experiment together"

Until next time

Hatched  :)