Are Purpose-Driven Companies More Successful?

Joe Weinlick
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Purpose-driven companies succeed where others fail simply because their leadership and business professionals are able to get employees behind a singular idea and then move forward. Purpose is an intangible way a company mobilizes its assets to start and sustain growth. Here's how a successful business achieves its goals through a strong sense of direction.

1. Making the Right Hires

Rather than hiring for skills, qualifications and talent, purpose-driven companies can hire people who share the same mission, values and vision for the firm. A successful business starts with employees interested in what the organization does as opposed to being interested only in drawing a paycheck. The revenue and profits come later, but it has to start with a group of people sharing a singular purpose.

2. Having a Shared Value

A shared value indicates a company with an economic and social purpose intertwined into one. For example, a successful business may want to help new parents care for their babies better by selling safer cribs with important safety features. The baby products company touts its goal of keeping babies safe while selling the very product that makes it possible. Another example comes from Etsy, a business platform model that helps unemployed or underemployed residents of New York and Chicago by offering free classes on how to run a business. The entrepreneurial classes share a goal of helping people, but they also improve Etsy's bottom line.

3. Showing Authenticity All of the Time

Showing authenticity might mean making moves that may seem counter-intuitive to making a profit. Seventh Generation, a producer of environmentally friendly home cleaning products, stands by its commitment to improve the environment by encouraging consumers to line-dry clothes instead of using a dryer. This move can potentially harm Seventh Generation's business of selling sustainable paper towels and other cleaning goods. Yet millennials flock to Seventh Generation because the successful business stands by its mission and core values no matter what.

The firm gives employees purpose, established goals and something important for them to believe in while helping consumers and the environment simultaneously. Shared values, coupled with workers who buy into the mission of the business, foster a brand and a marketing juggernaut that continues to grow as Seventh Generation touts its message and products.

4. Creating a Narrative

A narrative ties all of these concepts together, almost like a company's brand. A tangible narrative behind a successful business includes a written mission statement or vision statement that employees follow. Google's purpose is simple: to bring information to the entire world. The tech giant then brings in the best talent to achieve its goal, and every employee aims to make products, no matter how big or small, that lend to Google's mission. A concrete narrative spells out exactly what the firm is about and goes from there.

These four concepts explain how a successful business can achieve greatness through its shared purpose among every employee. Firms with a keen sense of setting goals and reaching them have distinct advantages over those that don't when it comes to keeping the best employees, making a brand and maintaining loyal customers.

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