Cul­ti­vat­ing pur­pose-driven lead­ers

NZ Business - - INBOX -

Cul­ti­vat­ing pur­pose- driven lead­ers and busi­nesses can trans­form the world and achieve a sus­tain­able fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to the CEO of Unilever Paul Pol­man.

De­liv­er­ing the key­note speech at the in­au­gu­ral INSEAD The Force for Good Con­fer­ence in France in Oc­to­ber Pol­man said that busi­nesses rep­re­sent ap­prox­i­mately 60 per­cent of global GDP, 80 per­cent of fi­nan­cial flow and 90 per­cent of job creation.

“Busi­ness can­not be a by­stander in a sys­tem that gives it life in the first place. We can­not find the so­lu­tions to these world chal­lenges if we don't start to do things dif­fer­ently and see things dif­fer­ently.”

A me­dia re­lease from INSEAD says Pol­man demon­strated how Unilever’s am­bi­tious vi­sion to fully de­cou­ple growth from its over­all en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print and to in­crease its pos­i­tive so­cial im­pact has not only brought sus­tain­abil­ity and pos­i­tive so­cial im­pact to the ta­ble, but si­mul­ta­ne­ously cre­ated twice the mar­ket growth and 300 per­cent share­holder re­turn to Unilever’s bot­tom line over a 10-year pe­riod.

“With two and a half bil­lion con­sumers us­ing Unilever’s prod­ucts ev­ery day in about 190 coun­tries in the world, the com­pany set a goal to reach one bil­lion peo­ple. No gov­ern­ments alone in the world can do that.

“And in­ter­est­ingly, the more you do that, the more you ad­dress these so­ci­etal is­sues, the bet­ter you do, and the bet­ter the com­pany grows.”

Pol­man said that it’s vi­tal to have pur­pose-driven lead­ers and or­gan­i­sa­tions fo­cused on sus­tain­abil­ity – driv­ing growth by not only look­ing at the bot­tom line, but also at long-term im­pact to so­ci­eties.

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