Putting Purpose into Practice
Our current economic system is failing to meet the needs of people and planet. Natural resources are increasingly scarce, public trust in global business and economic institutions is low and inequality continues to rise. It requires more than reform — the entire structure must be transformed. We have to move on from the 1970s and design a system fit for the complex challenges of today.
Despite the 2008 financial crisis that shook the pillars of business and society, we unfortunately still live in a world where people and planet are in service of business and business is in service of finance, which ultimately is in service of itself.
In response, many corporations in recent years have developed purposes that go beyond the delivery of financial performance. At the same time, numerous social responsibility initiatives have emerged at the periphery of business, typically with the support of charismatic CEOs. However, ambitious and often unattainable targets have sapped the credibility of these initiatives — and of their business leaders.
The Economics of Mutuality contends that the solution is not simply having purpose, but putting the right purpose into practice. The purpose of business it to solve the problems of people and planet, profitably. The Economics of Mutuality offers a more complete model of value creation that puts finance in service of business purpose and business purpose in service of people and planet. Rediscovering this true order will restore the positive role of business and finance in society.
Today, the odds are resolutely stacked against companies achieving their purposes, but for purpose to be attained, it must become real at all levels of an organisation. Achieving purpose is the essence of modern management and economics. It is the Economics of Mutuality’s objective.