This week, we meet Thomas Duveau, a man on the frontline of the African solar energy revolution with Mobisol – a business with a unique model for scaling up the use of renewable energy systems across the continent.
As I mention in my intro this week, there's so much talk about purpose right now. The breakfast debate I reference, hosted by the good people at Claremont, offered some great insight into how companies are concerning themselves with finding a purpose and then using that to create social, environmental and economic value.
The 21 policy recommendations offered by Will Hutton’s Purposeful Company report, and the UK government review into how it can better support mission-led businesses have further fuelled business desire to take advantage of the agenda.
But it's not going to be easy, as Claremont’s new Purpose in Practice report – reflecting on the insights and opinions of 25 senior decision-makers from across the sectors – suggests.
Key takeaways include:
- Purpose demands an ongoing commitment
“Having a purpose affects everybody and everything you do. It’s not something you can easily retrofit and have done in a few weeks.”
- Purpose does matter to people
“If you offer people the chance to do meaningful work, they are more likely to connect with what they are doing.”
- Authenticity cannot be applied as a veneer
“Claiming to have a purpose, and not living it or seeing it as part of an ongoing process, leads to purpose-wash. If you think this is just CSR 2.0 for the social media age, don’t even think about it.”
For the nimble and agile start-ups we like to feature on the Better Business Show, creating a mission-driven business with a clear sense of what it exists to do – create value for all stakeholders ,rather than just the shareholders – it’s a lot easier.
And there are some companies you come across where their purpose and their reason for being, is just so clear and magnificent.
Enjoy the show.
And don't forget to give us your email if you want to get your hands on the Better Business Show Cheat Sheet, coming soon.
Here's all the reference points connected to this week's news round-up with Vikki Knowles (right):
- The Sustainly Trends Briefing on kids TV and films can be found here.
- The Kansas City transport makeover story can be found here.
- The efforts of Mars to run on more green energy is here.
- Check out Teapigs, just one of the "lovable" brands we look at for our quiz – Loveable brand or slightly fake corporate imitation brand.