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The Link Between Profit and Purpose

Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010

Profit and Purpose – The Link!

Essentially we like to get good as stuff we do – just because most of us are wired that way.  If we have a talent or skill, and we get enjoyment (not necessarily money) from doing it well, we will work on getting good or even great for personal satisfaction that is not always commensurate with our actual return or rewards for doing so.  

We also like to contribute – well most of us do.  The exception confirms the rule in this case I’m sure.  I like to believe and many others do too, that if we are able to we’ll give and give for the satisfaction it gives us to do so, not because there is necessarily the guarantee of reward, recognition or even maybe awareness of our having done so.   Because it just feels good to help others when and if we can. 

Many companies are starting to realize that profit and recognition are not the be-all and end-all in terms of profitability and creating good companies.  Instead there is a movement in the world towards ensuring that purpose is placed higher on the list of importance than profit.  Perhaps the world is finally coming of age in the realization that a disconnection between profit and purpose leads to such things as less than ideal customer service, low quality products, and decreased job satisfaction. Maybe we as a society are getting better at understanding the value of having a powerful purpose in our organizations and seeing our customers voting with their wallets and supporting those who stand of for something good, vs turning away from companies who do bad things. Take a look at BP’s share price following the Gulf oil spill? 

If you get up to work every day and go to work feeling like just a number, you’ll struggle to maintain your enthusiasm for long.  This will affect every part of your working day and then spill over to your personal life if you don’t have something driving you and moving you forward.  Managers need to ensure that staff are engaged, motivated and really feeling a sense of purpose in their work.  Simply managing by ticking the boxes is not enough anymore.

Here is a great animated explanation by Dan Pink about the powerful reasons we need purpose in our work and our lives.

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Andrew’s appointments include: * Past board member of the Song Room * Board member of Florey Neurosciences Foundation Council * Past Board member Zoos Victoria Foundation * Board member of Petstock Foundation * Past Chairman of CAPRA - Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia @ Monash * Chairman of The Click Foundation  * Fundraising Committee of SecondBite * Patron and Founder of Caitlin’s Retreat * Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors * Chairman of Rees Partners Advisory Group