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The world of business is facing its biggest shift since the industrial revolution. Gone are the days when businesses’ only objective was pursuing shareholder value. Businesses today need to navigate not just new technology, emerging consumer trends, and environmental changes, but also reposition the purpose of the businesses themselves – a purpose no longer serving just the shareholders, but one that is beneficial for all stakeholders.
On Purpose is our bi-weekly newsletter. Every issue offers a curated selection of guest columns, insightful articles, engaging podcasts, inspiring videos, interactive webinars, and invitations to exclusive events.
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Chief Operating Officer, ThoughtExchange
Jessica Nordlander is a technology executive with an MSc in Applied IT, an XGoogler and was recently named the Most Innovative Leader in one of the most innovative countries in the world (her native Sweden). Prior to her current role as COO of ThoughtExchange, Jessica led impressive change and growth in multinational companies, as Chief Digital Officer for global travel group STS Education; Head of Business Development at Google and Managing Director in Stockholm, Dubai, and Vancouver for SaaS growth wonder Meltwater. Jessica serves on the board of several tech start-ups and contributes as a writer to outlets like Forbes.com and Inc Magazine. She is an influential thought leader and speaker on topics related to leadership and the future of work and has been seen contributing at events like Collision, as well as at academic institutions like Columbia and McMaster University.
Founder and Chief Purpose Officer at Conspiracy of Love, a Certified B-Corp Co-Founder, Good is the New Cool
Afdhel Aziz is one of the most inspiring voices in the global movement of business as a force for good. He is the Founder and Chief Purpose Officer of Conspiracy of Love, the world’s most inspiring purpose consultancy which advises some of the world’s largest companies like Adidas, Unilever, AB Inbev, Mondelez, Diageo, PepsiCo and more on how their brands can do good and make money. He is also an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker who has been invited to speak at companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Deloitte, Levis, and many others, and has been a featured speaker at the Cannes Lions, Hyper Island, SXSW, Conscious Capitalism, Columbia University, and the Forbes CMO Summit.
Journalist, author, speaker and specialist writer on business, society and the environment.
Sarah has spent more than two decades exploring the relationship of business and finance to society and the environment. She looks at what companies, investors, philanthropists, social innovators and others can do to help fix big global problems—from addressing climate change and making the shift to sustainable food production to increasing access to healthcare and reducing poverty.
Associate Professor, Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour, IE Business School
Monika Hamori’s research focuses on career paths and career success. Her work was published in Organization Science, the Academy of Management Annals, the Academy of Management Perspectives, Human Resource Management, and the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, among others.
Group CEO Moneypenny
Recruited as Moneypenny’s first sales person in 2005 – today, Joanna is Group CEO of an international business that has grown to employ more than 1000 people across continents, turning over £50m in 2020. At the heart of Moneypenny lies a unique culture based on mutual respect and trust. Joanna’s intimate understanding and nurturing of these founding principles has seen the business enjoy recognition as a Best Company to Work For for over a decade. Joanna is a member of Forbes Business Council and, in a nod to her dynamic leadership style and ability to drive transformation within the business communications industry, was recently awarded CEO of the Year by Management Today. Above all else, when it comes to outsourced communications, Joanna believes passionately that businesses of any size should stick to what they do best: “Focus on delivering what you’re really good at – and let experts help take care of the rest.”
CEO of Outline It
Sydney Montgomery is the CEO of Outline It, Inc., an edtech software company that aims to close the equity gap in education through writing and the Founder of S. Montgomery Admissions Consulting which specializes in working with first-generation and minority college and law school applicants. The daughter of military parents and an immigrant mother, Sydney graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School to become the first lawyer in her family. Sydney hosts the weekly Break into Law School™ podcast and launched the Barrier Breakers® scholarship fund in 2022. Sydney is a 2021 PCACAC Counselor of the Year, a Kappa Alpha Theta 35 Under 35 Awardee, and was named one of Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century.
Check out the latest articles from On Purpose
Every month, On Purpose hits your inbox with the latest thinking on purposeful business and leadership. These are the latest pieces.
As the world struggles with issues like the climate emergency and biodiversity loss, which require massive and swift evasive action, Afdhel Aziz argues that companies need to set the bar higher from mere ’sustainability’ (replacing what they use in a net-neutral manner) to ‘regeneration’ (actively restoring and repairing the world in a net positive manner). He suggests that Chief Sustainability Officers should re-name themselves Chief Regeneration Officers and frame their company ambitions around not just ‘giving back’ but ‘paying it forward’ - to future generations of leaders, employees, and humanity.Read more →
A Purpose Moonshot is an inspiring, ambitious goal to create social or environmental value on an epic scale. But these Moonshots aren’t just a way to inspire 10x innovation and engage employees: they also have the potential to be hugely profitable. Solving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals isn’t just the right thing to do: it’s estimated it would unlock $12 trillion in value.Read more →
Having a more diverse and cosmopolitan workforce is crucial to serving the need of future generations. How can organisations diversify their hiring practices and push back against silent gatekeeping?Read more →
In this article, Jessica Nordlander writes about how fulfilling one individual purpose no longer is enough. Being a leader is a choice, and with that choice comes responsibilities to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.Read more →
The recent attacks on Unilever by some of its shareholders on the company’s focus on ensuring all of their brands are purposeful have stirred up a debate on the value of purpose in today’s world. The case study provides a fascinating example to dissect to unpack the fundamental misunderstandings of how purpose should be accurately measured to truly reflect the long-term, multi-dimensional returns it creates.Read more →
We are living in an age of employee activism, with new expectations of company leadership not only to espouse but live the values demanded of them by their organisations – or risk the consequences. How do leaders adapt to this new normal? How do they engage with employees in constructive ways that not only repair but strengthen the culture of their companies?Read more →
As more and more companies adopt socially and environmentally responsible business practices, it raises a thorny question: How do you measure and report on the social and environmental impact of these initiatives? It is a question that is becoming more pressing for companies, as this data is now part of how they compete to win business and attract investors.Read more →
There are three tectonic shifts driving the purpose revolution in business: conscious consumers, activist employees and impact investors. Drawing on his deep personal experience advising Fortune 500 companies via his consultancy Conspiracy of Love, Afdhel Aziz breaks down the mega-trends to show you why purpose is the new digital.Read more →
What is culture? And how is it related to purpose? The Innovative leader and purpose-champion Jessica Nordlander drew from her personal experience to root out the differences, and how both are important to run a healthy business.Read more →
Purposeful leadership is all about creating connections. It is about acknowledging that it is bigger than one person but that it begins with one person. As a leader, it is about having a strong moral compass and vision that is committed to your people, all of them - your employees, your stakeholders, your customers, and your community. It is about taking everyone on the journey with you, being brave, living your purpose, being authentic and you cannot do it alone.Read more →