In the purest sense of meaning, a purpose-led business begins the workday already doing no harm and by the end of the workday that business has actually served as an anti-pollutant.
One place where a purpose-led business performs as an anti-pollutant is by eliminating the toxicity within the walls and the wires. This means the culture of the business is non-toxic. In fact, the culture is a breath of fresh air where respect, gratitude, honesty, justice and compassion guide all human interaction. Business operations and communications are transparent and authentic. Everyone—from the stockroom to the boardroom—finds meaning in the purpose of the organization in ways that help make them even better people outside of work. Beyond the walls, the business communicates with customers, citizens and communities in much the same way it communicates internally—with respect, honesty and understanding. The messages they create aim to inform, inspire and ignite positive thought and action versus fueling the fires of unnecessary consumption, want and materialism. A purpose-led business finds itself to be a listening organization first, rather than being stuck on ratcheting up the sales volume by spewing out corrosive words and airbrushed images upon a communications landscape already too littered with messaging junk.
Another place where a purpose-led business serves as an anti-pollutant is in the products they produce and the services they provide. The products they manufacture and market are constructed from do-no-harm parts and processes. The business relentlessly nurtures and ignites the kind of innovation and creativity that leads to products and services that actually help to ‘clean up’ the places where they are purchased and the places where they are used. They are recyclable, reusable, compostable, biodegradable, shareable and agreeable in all kinds of ways to the health of the environment and the new economy. The marketplace isn’t polluted with the runoff from pursuing competitive advantage at all costs. The marketplace is flowing with ‘clean’ products—from food and furniture to appliances and apps. Businesses realize and value the collaborative advantage. The supply chain isn’t linked by greed and blind extraction of resources; instead, it is forged with a reverence for resources and a belief in economic justice. Purpose-led businesses cause other business to see the positive effects of relentlessly pursuing a noble purpose.
The purpose-led business serves as an anti-pollutant by being pro-planet, pro-people and pro-profit (profit being the clean fuel for propelling the business).