Article by Dimity Podger of Barasa Consulting Group, posted at Bambuddha
Image by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash
In the last financial crisis, certified B Corps (businesses guided to deliver social and environmental outcomes and conscious culture) were found to be 63% more likely to survive the down turn than other businesses of a similar size.
In the above article, Kassoy states that B Corps are better prepared to weather crises “because those companies were more resilient. They had stronger relationships with their workers, or their customers, or through their supply chains, that allowed them to make it through. I hope that we’ll see something similar this time around.”
Nell Derick Debevoise (2020), Founder and CEO of the B Corp, Inspiring Capital, is of the same view. She identified four themes that highlight why purpose-driven businesses are also faring better in COVID-19 environment and why purpose is a must-have for survival. This is my take on them and I have added one more.
Being purpose-driven makes innovation fast and effective
One of the reasons purpose-driven businesses do perform well is because they have cultivated a values-based connection with their customers, clients and communities.
They also operate with a strong social licence to operate by acting with integrity – making decisions and acting in alignment with their purpose and values. By innovating on values, these businesses maintain that relationship in the market and with customers.
They also can identify new offerings because they start with this question: “How can we best serve the interests of the time, drawing on our strengths.
Focusing on how you can serve with your strengths flattens hierarchy and enables flexibility and agility
Another is the willingness to move to distributed leadership models, enabling them to tap into the collective intelligence of their organisation to solve challenges and innovate. This flexibility is critical to weathering crises and responding quickly to changing market needs.
This does require strong collaboration skills underpinned by openness to ideas and moving with strengths within a business. Role fluidity can create emotional discomfort, so when roles do change, it is important to have a culture that values everyone’s contribution to help people feel safe and connected.
Focusing attention on interpersonal connection, cultivates trust and the ability to move with focus and at speed.