Our theory of change

We are an independent charity whose purpose is to create better society through better business. We help business to be inspired and guided by a purpose that respects people and contributes to a better society.

Our work is built on the premise that business can be a force for good if it is inspired and guided by a purpose that serves society. If business operates with a purpose that serves society and respects the dignity of people, it can help create both a better society and better business.

We believe that the dominant model of business purpose – maximizing shareholder value – is deeply flawed and that an available alternative exists at least in the UK context within existing law and capital markets. The change needed is fundamentally a mindset shift embracing both organizational purpose and also how people are assumed to be motivated at work.

Our work is about stimulating and energising a different way of thinking and behaving in business. We present a different way of thinking about the purpose of business and what motivates people:

The purpose of business

Profit is not the purpose of business, but rather the outcome of a well-run business living out a purpose that benefits society.

Human motivation

People are not purely self interested. People within and beyond business can and will contribute more to the well-being of others if they feel respected and connected to a meaningful enterprise.

Our method

  • Our tone is positive in seeking to release unrealised potential in people and organisations. We believe business can be a force for good in society and that it is in their mutual interests to do so. It is, therefore, a positive move towards opportunity and fulfilment rather than an obligation that is satisfied by a compliance mentality.
  • We work 1:1 with a small group of companies in a way we describe as a ‘social contract’ to encourage them to experiment with our approach, with us acting as a coach or critical friend – enabling us to learn and share what we learn with others.
  • We are working to create a group of committed CEOs who are prepared to personally and publically commit to living out a purpose that serves society through their core business activities.
  • We are seeking to build confidence in a group of practitioners within corporates to help them share learning with each other and form a support network.
  • We work to help change the conversation about the purpose of business through dialogue with key influencers such as investors, academics, policy makers, NGOs and others, as well as through our social media, forums, conferences, events.
  • By sharing our thinking and building a network of coaches & consultants we hope to help them to reach a wider number of companies through their work that we are unable to reach (including SMEs).
  • Through our knowledgebase we are seeking to enable more people to access our thinking and approach.
  • We curate & share evidence, research and learning to support our thinking and approach.
  • We seek to collaborate with others who have similar or complementary objectives, recognising that the broader mindset change we are seeking to promote needs groups to work together, and is far more likely to succeed if there are shared high-level goals and a broad collaborative mentality.

The change we are seeking

Mindset change

Businesses leaders believe that profit is not the purpose of business but the outcome of a well run business living out a purpose that benefits society.

Behavioural change

People in business act beyond self interest, demonstrate respect for others and build relationships that benefit business and society. People feel respected. Employees feel fulfilled.

Business is a force for good

Business is acting to deliver clear benefits to society as well as delivering long term sustainable performance.