One of the trends that were identified by The Boston Consulting Group is that companies today must be “social” in a truly external sense. Customers, stakeholders, communities, business partners, and employees all have an enormous impact on a company’s brand, growth, and profitability. Being a “social enterprise” means going beyond a focus on revenue and profit and clearly understanding that we operate in an ecosystem, and all these relationships are equally important.
Interestingly, the biggest challenge they found in their research is that executives are not operating or organised effectively to deal with this new world. The trends that have been highlighted, cannot be addressed without an enterprise-wide, cross-functional approach. So the idea of having executives who owns various functional areas alone simply does not work.
In fact a new model is necessary, and companies should take on these issues as a team, creating a model they call “teams leading teams,” instead of the siloed functional ownership we see today.
For me personally and for my work at The Argonauts this research proves that this is the only way to go. It’s about the need to find mission, trust, and value in our lives. We are living in a world of tremendous economic growth, technology revolution, yet also one of income inequality, contentious debate about nationalism, and lots of concerns about diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equity at work. All these topics are now coming together, and business leaders must address them in an integrated and strategic way. Customers now do business with companies who are local, companies who do good things in the community, and companies that do good things for society. This goes far beyond “corporate responsibility” into really being a good citizen, and redefining value propositions in this way. As we call “purpose-driven innovation or strategy.”
The conclusion is to strive for a “purpose-driven company”,we have to recognise that businesses today cannot operate by only considering employees and customers. We now need a set of strategies, investments, and values that reflect the broader role business plays in our society.
Not every company has to become an activist organisation in their industry. But research shows that over time, companies do have to “do good” in order to “do well”.
Source : BCG