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January, 11, 2021  |  Mike Rowlands  |    |  

Make 2021 the Year You Embed Purpose in Your Work

As we turn our attention back to work in these early days of a hopeful new year, I’m reminded of a question we posed before the holidays: Will you contemplate what you and your organization can do to #emergestronger?

Graphic of blue coloured interwoven steps showing the hashtag Emerge Stronger
Mike Rowlands
Mike is President and CEO at Junxion. He has guided strategy development with early-stage ventures, decades-old corporations, not-for-profits and charities, and government agencies. Reach him via [email protected] to start a conversation.

Doubtless, myriad ideas come to mind: staff supports during COVID, your carbon footprint, your community investments. There are so many issues to take up and good causes to support. And there are so many challenges ahead, as we strive to emerge stronger post-COVID.

Certainly, we should anticipate massive recovery efforts. And the business sector has a significant role to play.

Over the past decade or so, we at Junxion have been talking about a ‘next economy,’ an economy we see emerging from countless grassroots movements around the world—and that will emerge even faster as we all come out the other side of COVID.

In this next economy, all organizations adopt ‘blended missions’ to create both financial and non-financial value for all of their stakeholders. Economic and social institutions are grounded in the reality that our planet’s resources and capacity to support life are finite. And leaders eschew extractive, zero sum, profit-taking in favour of generative, positive sum, progress-making.

Purpose is a Next Economy Imperative.

However you choose to support communities during COVID and contribute to societal recovery when the virus finally recedes, all signs put social purpose at the heart of effective next economy thinking. 

The next economy is anchored in social purpose.

This is not merely some new iteration of community engagement or corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Alongside a well-crafted vision and clearly articulated values, your purpose keeps your strategy on course. And it’s part of a profound rethinking of the role of business in society. 

I’ve been around long enough to have worked during the dot com boom and bust of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was clear then that the Internet was going to be massively disruptive and would forever change business. Many ventures were caught unaware and failed to seize the advantages of what clearly was a fundamental change in the world of work.

Purpose offers the same opportunities. Will you have the wherewithal to seize them?

Perhaps you think all this purpose talk is just woo-woo, fluffy, feel good stuff. Consider this: in the financial crisis of 2008, Certified B Corps were 63% more likely to survive than other businesses of similar size. Surely, in this market, you want that kind of security? According to JUST Capital, companies that lead in meeting the needs of all their stakeholders have outperformed the laggards by almost 30% over the past four years, and by double-digit margins throughout the pandemic. Surely, you want that kind of growth?

Three Steps You Can Take Toward the Next Economy

Embed Purpose In Your Company: Might you have the courage to commit your company to consider the best interests of all stakeholders—not just your shareholders? Certified B Corps do just that, and have earned their reputations for being the world’s most responsible companies. To certify, companies are required to amend their corporate charters to legally commit their governors and leaders to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders. By certifying as a B Corp and taking the small step to amend your Articles of Incorporation, you can take a giant leap into the next economy.

Embed Purpose in Your Planning: Might you be embarking on a new round of strategic planning this year? Take that opportunity to discuss your company’s purpose. 

Make 2021 the year you join the next economy.

Purpose is an essential responsibility of governance and leadership and a vital response to what the world needs now. 

Strategic planning is the right moment for this important conversation. (If you’re not looking at your strategic plan at all this year, you should be. Unless you’ve been living in a remote mountain cabin, offline for the last year, you’ve surely noticed that the world has changed dramatically and forever. You need a new plan for 2021 and beyond.)

Embed Purpose In Your Learning: Perhaps you’re just beginning your journey toward purpose, just taking your first tentative steps toward next economy thinking. If so, you’re in the right place: we’ve been thinking about this for years! Download our Guide to Success in the Next Economy below, give it a read, and call us when you’re ready for an inspiring conversation about how Junxion can help you make the leap.

Does all this feel burdensome? Daunting? Too much? It does for many. Most of us weren’t trained to run our companies this way, nor to consider goals and objectives beyond those that directly serve our shareholders. But those days are over. 

Purpose is but one of a number of traits of the next economy. And Junxion Strategy exists to help leaders like you and companies like yours to make the shift. In fact, that’s our purpose.

Success in the Next Economy

If you’re looking for ways to apply the assets and resources in your organization to achieve real and lasting change in your community, your region, or even globally, then this downloadable guide is for you.