Carolyn Butler-Madden, Chief Purpose Activist at The Cause Effect recently launched her latest book For Love & Money, which shares the concept as well as the ‘how to’ of how purpose led businesses can create better outcomes for businesses, society and individuals. Drawing on the rich and rapidly evolving ecosystem of wildly successful purpose led businesses, Carolyn presents case studies and frameworks that demonstrate how businesses can internally transform to embed and embody purpose at their core.
For Love & Money shows us that purpose and profit can and should co-exist in a strategic and heartfelt way. Interwoven with examples of companies who are leading the way, For Love & Money is a business book, but also a love story, about how we can make our world better through business for good, that leaps from the page.
Why is purpose so important for business today?
The business world is undergoing a paradigm shift in response to society’s critical needs.
There are many reasons for this shift, including:
- Decline in trust in our major institutions (government, business, NGOs and media)
- Government is no longer seen as able to solve societal problems
- Business is the only trusted institution; and people (employees, consumers and investors) expect business to lead on issues like climate change, income inequality and prejudice and discrimination
Societal change is now a core expectation of business.
By having clarity on the higher social purpose they serve, business can deliver on this expectation in a strategic, focused and impactful way.
The businesses at the forefront of the social purpose movement are demonstrating leadership, but they’re also proving that the more purposeful a business, the better its financial performance. Purpose-driven businesses are financially outperforming businesses that don’t have a purpose beyond profit. They also outperform businesses who just have a passive purpose statement (one that doesn’t impact societal needs).
True purpose drives greater agility, resilience, productivity, good culture, leadership and profitability. All things that are vital to business success.
Tell us about your new book For Love & Money, why did you write it?
This is my second book on purpose. In my first book, Path To Purpose, I shared a marketing perspective of social purpose and cause marketing. My latest book, For Love & Money shares the opportunity that becoming a purpose-led organisation offers businesses, society and individuals. I specifically wrote it for 3 reasons:
- To help people understand that business has so much more potential than it is given credit for. The core question this book addresses is “what if business hasn’t yet realised it’s true full potential?”
- I want this book to provide inspiration. I do this by sharing successful examples of businesses that serve a higher purpose inspired by love of people, planet and humanity.
- To help readers navigate their path to purpose, especially how to get started. By sharing our methodology for uncovering, articulating and embedding meaningful purpose into a business; and by sharing our Brand Purpose Blueprint framework, I want readers to be able to see a path forward, which inspires then to start.
For those who want even more inspiration (or who aren’t avid book readers), we also launched the For Love & Money Podcast. I’ve had the great privilege of interviewing some extraordinary changemakers through the podcast, including your good selves, Jade and Alanna.
What’s love got to do with business?
That’s the billion-dollar question, right?
Love has everything to do with businesses operating in today’s environment. It is the missing piece that has limited businesses in unlocking its full value.
Business shouldn’t operate in a silo, deliberately oblivious to the serious challenges that society faces today. Business has the means, the capacity and the resources to contribute solutions to many of these challenges.
When a business serves a higher purpose that is inspired by love of people, planet or humanity, everything changes.
- Their people feel fulfilled in the work they do. They show up in bigger, bolder ways
- Their capacity to create change through innovation increases
- Their business is energised
- It attracts people (employees, customers and partners) who love what the business stands for and want to join your movement of change
- Even the investors they attract have different expectations. They start looking at long term outcomes not just short-term gains.
Love might seem like a strange and out-of-place concept in relation to business but think about how often we talk about brands that we love. It is in fact a natural emotion to attach to business. It’s the key to attracting people who are emotionally invested in the success of your business.
How can business leaders get started on their path to purpose?
Contrary to the idea of “Start With Why”, I contend that this 2.0 version of Purpose (Social Purpose), challenges us to start with who. We need to be able to understand intimately our identity; who are our “People Like Us”. What is the shared belief or narrative that drives us and our most engaged employees, customers, partners and investors?
When we understand this, we connect with what really matters to us. That opens the door to uncovering our true purpose – the change in the world that we will use our business to contribute to.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
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