Purpose-washing. Is it the new green-washing?

There’s an increasing body of evidence showing that Higher Purpose is the new leading edge that companies must embrace if they’re going to drive performance and profitability. Sadly however, it seems that many companies are seeing ‘purpose’ as the new black. They’re spending big bucks to come up with a clever, sexy new purpose statement in an attempt to convince the world they’re putting people and the planet before their pocket.

Purpose-washing it seems, is becoming the new green-washing.

Just because a company has a purpose statement does not mean they’re ON purpose. Having a purpose statement is one thing. Truly believing in it and activating it is quite another. When the ‘purpose promise’ does not match the ‘purpose experience’ there’s a very real risk that it will be seen as a pithy advertising line instead of the raison d’être. An investment in purpose can actually do more harm than good if it’s not brought to life.

A higher purpose is like a higher power. It’s both inside us and outside of us. It’s both the guiding north-star, ever present yet never reachable, and it’s also the glue of the organisation, the thing that drives strategy and that drives every company decision. A higher purpose is about the betterment of humankind and mother earth. It’s noble, just, moral and ethical.

So how do you avoid being accused of ‘purpose-washing’? How do you dig deep to unearth your company purpose and make it real and meaningful?  How do you make it a truly collective purpose, one that everyone takes responsibility for? You do it through a co-created, democratic approach that engages people from every corner of the organisation. The purpose is no longer just the domain of the executive team, the ad agency or your consulting firm. It becomes the domain of your people.

Find out more about purpose in my recent talk here: Click here

That’s what The Purpose Project has been designed to do. TPP is a workshop program using human-centred design principles to help you articulate and activate purpose in your company. We help you:
1. Co-create a meaningful company purpose statement using a proven framework and a deep understanding of higher purpose and it’s purpose.
2. Unearth the behaviour you require in your company to activate purpose by co-designing and then writing your company Manifesto.
3. Develop personal Purpose Maps for each employee that ties directly into the company purpose and their own purpose and passion.