Tuesday, 19 June saw the Brand Council South Africa Brand Commune bring together some of South Africa’s most progressive minds to speak on the meaning of purpose in business.
The summit was hosted by the Managing Director of the Daily Vox, Sipho Hlongwane and the impressive panel included, Exxaro CEO and Minerals Council South Africa President Mxolisi Mgojo, Joe Public United co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Marais, our very own Dr. Sean McCoy presenting alongside Heidi Brauer of Hollard and rounding off the panel was Sizakele Marutlulle.
The first speaker was Mxolisi Mgojo who spoke vehemently on how his desire to see to see South Africa progress and address the inequalities that are experienced by many South Africans daily.
Mxolisi on how purposes is woven into the DNA of Exxaro, “If purpose is also rooted into the values then at the end of the day the brand, Exxaro, must live up to it. The brand is the face of that purpose.”
“What is the legacy we are going to leave behind? We cannot sit on the fence. What is your purpose and what will your organisation do about it?”
Heidi Brauer and Dr. Sean McCoy:
Heidi and Sean delivered a bubbly and charming presentation on The Hollard Story of integrating their purpose into their new identity and getting Hollardites to live the Hollard purpose.
“We started with why – this is the essence of understanding what it means to be a Hollardite.”
Heidi on internal branding, “We do everything inside first, to he them [Hollardites] understand, so it can resonate with them.”
Part of Hollards purpose is placing people at the heart of the organisation, “We are inclusive in everything that we do, we concentrate being human, genuine and real.”
As well as fun, “Nothing rhymes with purple, except orange.”
Pepe had a more philosophical approach to answering the question – is there a point to purpose?
For purpose to be sustainable, it should be aligned with you personal purpose is what Pepe realized after taking stock of his life and seeing that while he was putting all of himself into his well-being, family life, business and CSI but only seeing a 40% return.
This lead him on a journey of self-discovery, “I went on a deep dive – we are massive in terms of the potential that we carry.”
Sizakele spoke on the importance of organisations being intentional in the manner in which they live out their purpose.
Sizakele on placing people at the heart of communication,“We are consumers some of the time and humans all of time.”
Placing people at the center allows companies to recruit people who are aligned with the brands core values.
The take-away from the robust conversation was that purpose is not just an empty term that businesses can slap on without the actions to support it. Those values and ideals cannot live with just the CEO, top management or on a poster on a wall – it has to be lived by the employees as well and has to manifest itself in every aspect of the business. Purpose has to be of the business strategy and for it to be meaningful, it must transcend profit.
The conference also left attendees with a lot to ponder: how does one measure the effectiveness of purpose on the business? How do you reward employees who live the organisations purpose in a manner that is necessarily monetary? How do you commercialize purpose?
What do you think, let us know in the comments section!