How to Build a Purpose-Driven Company

By Russ Stoddard / Oct 07, 2015

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36 How To Create It

People are seeking companies they can trust.

In a world where monolithic car manufacturers actively conduct subterfuge, politicians polish their practice at loggerheads above problem solving, and science gets bent to special interests, people are increasingly looking for ways to find companies they can trust. 

We believe one of the best ways to establish this trust is also one of the effective ways to solve the world’s social and environmental problems, specifically by creating for-profit enterprises that are “purpose built”—constructed from the ground up to offer products, services, or business models that benefit society.

In our work as a brand builder for purpose-driven companies, we’ve been privileged to work on endeavors with a lot of committed and sharp people, from Singapore to Sydney, and Boise to Butte, Montana, businesspeople who are using social enterprises with a for-profit mentality to change the world.

We also spend a considerable amount of time mentoring social entrepreneurs one-on-one. In addition, we have a program to provide additional resources to social entrepreneurs called Social Impact Grants. After all, if we want to change the world through our business model, we need to help other business change the world as well.

Today, we’re taking the next step—to capture and share our learning on this journey in a three-part white paper series, “How to Build a Purpose-Driven Company.” We decided to put it out on the web in the hope it will help others expedite the transformation toward higher-purpose in business.

And while this series doesn’t represent the end-all, be-all resource in this rapidly evolving, systematic change, it attempts to provide a path that will help companies build purpose into their business models.

Sequence 1

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  • The first white paper in the series, “Create It,” was published today. You can find it on our website here. This critical, formative stage defines the concept, then walks you through the process of building a strong foundation for purpose at your company, including values development, screens for business practices, charting your purpose, and finally, proclaiming your purpose through a manifesto.

    The second white paper, “Prove It,” will be published next month. In it, we’ll give you a blueprint for tying your belief system to a framework that translates your words into intentional, measurable action—the all-important “proof.” You’ll learn about third-party assessment platforms and verification programs that will enable you to not only talk the talk, but walk it, too.

    The last white paper in the series, to be published later this year, is “Share It.” This will provide a template and tools for how your company can use its purpose to differentiate its offering, connect with (and learn from) kindred spirits, influence key audiences, and build prosperous relationships with both customers and employees, all through the power of purpose and aligned values. That’s how you begin building a network based on trust. 

    It all starts by purposely clicking here with “Create It.”

    And if in the course of your harried work world you’d like a friendly reminder as the other white papers become available, just sign up for alerts via our monthly e-newsletter. You can do that here.

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    Russ Stoddard

    Russ started Oliver Russell in 1991. He’s committed his career (nearly 30 years) to social responsibility, first inside the corporate world and then as an entrepreneur who’s started four companies and five nonprofit causes. Russ is the author of "Rise Up - How to Build a Socially Conscious Business," and his creative work has been honored with local, regional, and national creative awards. These days, Russ focuses on brand strategy for clients, spreading the Certified B Corp love, and connecting kindred spirits to multiply social impact.

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