3 Ways to Become a Purpose-Driven Company The co-founder of a social impact marketing agency shares tips for leaders to be more purposeful in their business practices.

By Jessica Abo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Afdhel Aziz is the co-founder of Conspiracy of Love, a global purpose consultancy. He works with companies like Adidas, REO, Red Bull and Microsoft, helping them understand how to do more good in the world. "We do this by helping them discover their purpose, the higher-order reason they exist, and designing purpose-driven initiatives which allow them to go into the world to do some good, either through new products, new technology, new platforms or new innovation," he says.

Speaking with Jessica Abo, Aziz shares three principles from his upcoming book, The Principles of Purpose, which is intended to help CEOs transform their companies to be more purpose-driven.

Jessica Abo: What inspired you and Bobby Jones to write this book?

Afdhel Aziz: We wrote this book because we spotted a revolution happening in business with purpose transforming companies in the same way that digital transformed them. Purpose-driven consumers want to buy products and services from companies that do good. Purpose-driven employees want to work for those companies and purpose-driven investors want to invest in those companies. We wrote this book for the modern-day CEO who wants to transform their company into a purpose-driven one to attract the best talent, more loyal consumers and more patient investors, as well.

If a company wasn't purpose-driven in the first place, can they transform it?

Aziz: If the company wasn't purpose-driven in the first place, they absolutely can transform themselves. Our favorite example is Microsoft. When Satya Nadella became CEO, he led the transformation of that company into a purpose-driven one around the idea of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. That has led to a tidal wave of innovation, motivation and engagement that has made Microsoft into a trillion-dollar company, and also made it one of the best places to work on the planet. So absolutely a company can transform itself into a purpose-driven one. And that's what we do with Conspiracy of Love.

How is purpose different from traditional corporate social responsibility?

Aziz: Back in the old days, the only place where good happened inside a company may have been the corporate social responsibility department, but then sustainability came along as companies started to reinvent themselves to hit environmental goals. You had cause marketing. All of these things are now weaving together into a bigger, thicker rope that we call purpose, where the difference is instead of companies only focused on doing no harm, they're actively creating products and services and business models that do some good in the world, as well.

This is the revolution that we see happening in business. And that's what we've covered in this book, The Principles of Purpose, where we look at some of these companies like Tesla, Patagonia, Airbnb, and Microsoft, and uncover what makes them such powerful, purpose-driven organizations.

What are three principles that executives can follow to become a purpose-driven company?

Aziz: Purpose should work inside-out. There is no point going and preaching to the world if you don't have your own house in order, especially around issues like diversity and inclusion, gender equality, making sure your workers and your supply chain are sustainable and ethical. Purpose is about picking your swords and shields.

As a company, you're going to be faced with a broad range of issues on the social and environmental front that you can choose to get engaged in. Some of those issues are shields, defensive issues where you need to have a good position on, but we're really obsessed with finding the sword, the problem in the world if a company says, "We want to go and fix this problem. Will you help us?"

Purpose needs to be profitable to be scalable. This is business, not philanthropy. Only if purpose really contributes to the bottom line — whether that's revenue, brand equity or employee engagement — and only if it really contributes in some profound and tangible way will it keep getting funded and will it keep getting scaled. Hopefully those three principles help you get an idea. There are many more in the book.

Related: How to Heal After Life's Most Challenging Moments

Jessica Abo

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Media Trainer, Keynote Speaker, and Author

Jessica Abo is a sought-after media trainer, award-winning journalist and best-selling author. Her client roster includes medical and legal experts, entrepreneurs, small business owners, startup founders, C-Suite executives, coaches, celebrities and philanthropists. Visit www.jessicaabo.com.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Can't Find a Place on Airbnb? The New 'Black Market' Has You Covered.

Tightening regulations on short-term rentals in NYC has led to a shadow market for Airbnb alternatives.

Growing a Business

More Than 90% of Startups Don't Make It. This CEO Reveals What It Takes to Not Only Survive — But Thrive.

Learn what it takes to grow a company while also scaling as a leader.

Business News

Mac Without Cheese? Kraft's Newest Product Is Going Vegan

Kraft is releasing a plant-based version of its iconic Mac & Cheese called "NotMac&Cheese."

Starting a Business

How Business Community Is Making CEO Life Less Ghastly

People are starting to notice that if you want to get the best out of entrepreneurs, you have to support them. But how?

Business News

A Woman Is Suing a Popular Salad Chain After Allegedly Finding a 'Chopped' Human Finger in Her Bowl

The incident allegedly occurred at a Chop't location in Mount Kisco, New York, on April 7, 2023.


5 Scrappy Ways to Create Quick Marketing Wins

Marketers are under pressure to create both short-term and long-term successes. Here's how you can create quick wins easily alongside your bigger strategy.