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The Path from Purpose to Profit: Five Connectors

March 21, 2021

Every organization needs roadmaps – your business plan drives financial, a sales plan helps close new business, and so on. But what about your Purpose?  Why should you care?

Purpose has a direct impact on your business success. Research has consistently shown that companies who effectively infuse purpose into their organization perform better across an array of financial and valuation metrics. Numerous studies have found that employees with purpose are – more engaged, more productive, take fewer sick days, and are generally healthier. This improved well-being translates into better performance for your company. Purpose-driven employees have an average annual output that is $9.1k higher than those without purpose.  [Reese, A., Kellerman, G., et al. (2019). “Meaning and Purpose at Work.” BetterUp]

So what’s this road map look like – let’s examine the connectors that can take you from Purpose to Profit.

Authenticity is the keystone of Purpose.

Your Purpose should be fused into the fabric of your organization. Authentic organizations are naturally more transparent and drive trust with their stakeholders. Authenticity establishes a stronger connection upon which you can build profitable relationships.

At this stage, leadership is critical; authenticity starts at the top. A recent survey by PWC of over 502 leaders revealed that while 79% of leaders think that connecting their people to an inspiring reason for being is critical to success, just 27% say they regularly enact purpose when working with their teams. [Brennan, A., Schuyler, S. (2018). “Putting Purpose to Work: a study of purpose in the workplace.”] Don’t be the 27% — make your purpose part of your leadership example.

Clearly articulate your purpose.

Communication is the only means of letting the world know what you stand for.  This communication goes beyond a mission statement or a press release. Rather it encompasses every facet of your interaction both externally and internally. The messages you deliver will either support or detract from the goal of aligning purpose to profit. Start with your Three Keys – Purpose, Values and Story. (Check out for more details.)

Get both external and internal validation for the work you’ve put into your purpose.

Businesses measure everything.  KPIs dot the financial, operations and marketing landscape. Purpose as them too. Advantages has developed the Key Purpose Indicator to drive the full circle of how purpose has the ability to  generate the success you want and help you stick to your roadmap.

Infuse your purpose across your organization.

Once you have validated your purpose it must be everywhere and be meaningful. This is where the rubber meets the road – and is clearly challenging. In a recent McKinsey survey comprising a representative sample of more than 1,000 participants from US companies, 82 percent affirmed the importance of purpose, but only 42 percent reported that their company’s stated “purpose” had much effect.  The lack of effect stems from a failure to make it real across the organization – a mission and vision isn’t effective if it isn’t moved forward by everyone you work with. 

Unity and alignment drive efficiencies and momentum; positive impact on profit.

Research from Alex Edmans, author of Grow the Pie: how great companies deliver both purpose and profit, showed that companies with high employee satisfaction outperformed their peers by 2.3%-3.8% per year over a 28-year period. Over longer time frames that over performance makes a substantial difference.  A 2012 study by MillwardBrown and Jim Stengle demonstrated that Purpose-led companies outperform the S&P by 400% over the prior 10 year period during the study – further research has only confirmed this effect.

You plan the many paths of your firm. Take the time to create the path for your purpose and then connect people to that pathway.  Though the results will differ – there is no one right path. Find your connections and they will lead you in the right direction of converting your purpose to profit.

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