To be professionally correct is to act with purpose



“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

This is Patagonia’s mission statement.

It is also one of the key reasons for the success behind the multibillion-dollar company. Rather than focusing on how to turn a profit, Patagonia recognises that their bottom line is directly tied to the quality of the work they produce. Not only are they a highly profitable company as a result of this, but they are also successfully supporting the environment while servicing their customers, further indicating why money and power don’t make you successful or a sustainable organisation – purpose does.

 The future of business

For us, the term professional correctness transcends prejudice-free work environments, marginalised communities and unequal opportunities. When we speak about professional correctness at work, we refer to the role of leadership in standing for something bigger than themselves. From an organisational effectiveness point of view, nothing is more important than constructively using our power to bring people closer together toward a common goal. This can only be achieved when leadership move away from driving growth and shareholder value for its own sake and instead, focus on building a more inclusive, power-agnostic society.

The pathway to a more fair and honest society begins by creating more conscious companies. According to Simon Sinek, a global TED Talk sensation, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. In other words, when leadership successfully connects with their customers and employees based on shared beliefs, they build a solid foundation of followers while simultaneously impacting the bottom line. The companies that succeed are ones that stay true to their core values over the years and create a company that employees and customers are proud to associate with. These organisations understand that becoming a more purposeful organisation is about getting people in touch with their humanity. Sunwealth is another great example of this. The innovative clean energy investment firm provides businesses and municipalities with access to affordable solar power – all the while delivering wider-reaching social and environmental impact. Sunwealth prove that when it comes to the business world, “purpose” cannot be an afterthought.

Choosing greatness

We live in an interconnected world. Our actions – as a business and as individuals — affect the world profoundly. We need a radical revolution that brings our thinking away from power dynamics and money-driven motifs toward a more purposeful and community-driven society. The truth is, as long as you stand for something that has a nobility that others can buy into, your customers and your tribe will be right behind you. This is the future of professional correctness. This is the future of work.

How are you converting profit into something meaningful for people and the planet?