What is the purpose of your company
‘Most firms are parasites that destroy far more than they generate”. This is from “Firms of Endearment, How World Valls Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose”. Most people are not engaged in work. 26% hate their employer. Heart attacks go up by 20% on Monday mornings.
Purpose has become a hot topic. The signs were there. It started with “The new capitalist manifesto”. Followed by weak signals from “Marketing 3.0”, “The thank you economy” and “Delivering Happiness”. Loud and clear from “Exponential organisations” and “Reinventing organisations”. Most recently from “Evolved Enterprise”.
Firms of endearment
And now “Firms of endearment”. Moving from transformative purpose to what is it a business perspective version of my favourite book “The code of the extraordinary mind”. Love as the killer app for business. Conscious Capitalism.
Companies for the new age
Companies rooted in six senses of the conceptual age:
Companies with a heart and a soul. The vision, mission, passion and value statements in the strategic box. Creating emotional, spiritual, social, cultural, intellectual, ecological, and, of course, financial value.
Firms of endearment. Focussing on the new marketing paradigm, heart share. Customer loyalty is like love: It grows not from reason, it grows from the heart. With all stakeholders. Not just the shareholders.
What are they?
Here is what firms of endearment do:
- They subscribe to a purpose for being that is different from and goes beyond making money.
- They actively align the interests of all stakeholder groups, not just balance them.
- Their executive salaries are relatively modest.
- They operate at the executive level with an open door policy.
- Their employee compensation and benefits are significantly greater than the standard for the company’s category.
- They devote considerably more time than their competitors to employee training.
- Their employee turnover is far lower than the industry average.
- They empower employees to make sure customers leave every
- transaction experience fully satisfied.
- They make a conscious effort to hire people who are passionate about the company and its products.
- They consciously humanise the company experience for customers and employees, as well as creating a nurturing work environment.
- They project a genuine passion for customers and emotionally connect with them at a deep level.
- Their marketing costs are far lower than those of their industry peers, while customer satisfaction and retention are far higher.
- They view their suppliers as true partners and collaborate with them to move both their companies forward.
- They honour the spirit of laws rather than merely following the letter of the law.
- They consider their corporate culture to be their greatest asset and primary source of competitive advantage.
- Their cultures are resistant to short-term, incidental pressures, but also prove able to quickly adapt when needed.
They also have an 8 times higher return. Culture as the last battleground. Authentic. Fully transparent. Loyalty as the currency. Wow as the UX. Focussing on passion, virtue, joy and well-being. Using emotional intelligence instead of IQ or AI. Creating intense and quality organisational energy.
Soft balance sheet
Suggesting companies should not only measure their flow score but also their energy score. In fact, a balance sheet should reflect these and other soft metrics (anyone that want to talk about developing a soft balance sheet model, give me a shout). The soft balance sheet as the true reflection of the value of the company.
It makes sense. We know from books like “Metaskills” and “The moment of clarity” that EQ is better at dealing with complex issues. I am sure that in organisations where people share the passion, vision and mission, internal clock speed as referred to “The network always wins” is less of an issue. It makes sense from a marketing and sales perspective, from an organisational perspective, from a productivity perspective, from a profitability perspective, from a longevity perspective, from a staffing and HRM perspective. You will be different and you will resonate. Sidestepping technology changes, hyper-competition, price erosion and the competition. Becoming truly sustainable as a company and as a person.
Are you designed for delight?
To go back to one of the first books “The connected company” about the organisational aspect to this; “are you designed for customer delight?”. This book brings it one step further; are you designed for delight? Staff, community, suppliers, shareholders and clients. Stakeholder delight.
If the answer is “no”, go read this book.