When the world is returning to normalcy after a year-long pandemic, businesses need to move away from Profit maximisation; redesign themselves as a Social enterprise; adopt a Systems Thinking approach, and create better Products/Services for the larger good of the society, echoed Thought Leaders during a discussion on “Higher Purpose in Business: Transcending CSR?” in the second Purpose Roundtable.
A crisis has hit Capitalism, its adverse effect leads to a crisis in Democracy, opined Shri Arun Maira. Elaborating further, he said, “Business corporations have created a system where the institution’s sole purpose is to give maximum profit for its investors. Due to the limited liability, the investors liability is only to the capital that one had invested. They are not liable for the adverse effect the business is having on society. This selfish nature of business is now corrupting democracy, wherein the Corporations have become more equal citizens of society than others”.
Shri Arun Maira advocated the need for teaching a Systems Thinking habit in every Business leader, where one should assess the impact that the decision would have on the larger society and called upon Management schools to teach this in their curriculum.
Participating in the discussion on how CSR and Purpose are often viewed as the same, Shri Suresh Narayanan argued that Purpose is the reason for existence. In contrast, CSR would be just a small manifestation of what Purpose could lead to. Elaborating further, he said, “Profit Maximization has become a thing of the past. In today's world, having a great CSR activity alone would not be sufficient. Organisations need to have a shared value with the larger ecosystem for its benefit, and only those who have a robust culture & higher purpose would be able to thrive.”
Concurring with the views expressed on Systems Thinking, Shri Suresh Narayanan added that Milton Friedman argument on Profit Maximization by Businesses have led to collateral damages.
Summarising the thoughts, Shri V K Madhav Mohan said it is essential now for Corporates to collaborate, be humble, listen to the lives you would impact, and incorporate those in their products/services to deliver greater good to the society. In the new-world, Businesses need to move away from mere profits to doing good for society. He said Corporate leaders must continuously evaluate the impact of their products and services on the community and environment at large.
Shri Dileep Narayanan, Founder, and Brand Mentor, Organic BPS, said that the Centre for Higher Purpose in Business (CHPB), a global community of thought leaders from business, consulting, and academia would continue series of Purpose Roundtables to evolve a body of knowledge through co-creation of insightful ideas.
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Organic BPS was founded in 1999, with a culture deep-rooted in values - commitment to righteousness, excellence and results. The journey towards the higher purpose began the day, our Founder and Brand Mentor Dileep Narayanan christened his dream organisation 'Organic'. A company that discovers and articulates the deepest and the most natural expression of a brand, which he calls the "Organic Purpose". For over two decades, we have been cultivating purposeful brands. To seed purpose in business and to nurture it to bloom, we have evolved a unique proprietary model called the Brand Purpose Solutions (BPS) Model.