How to be a Successful Dual-Purpose Organisation

We are delighted to see that companies today are being challenged to tone down their single-minded pursuit of financial gain and to pay more attention to their impact on employees, customers, communities and the environment.

Pressure is being applied from many sources: rising levels of inequality, the impact of climate change, and investor realisation that short-term profitability and long-term sustainability are sometimes in conflict. It is for these reasons that an increasing number of businesses now understand that they need to work to both financial and social goals. This is not easy but successful dual-purpose organisations have something in common. They take an approach that the authors call hybrid organising and focus on four key elements:

  • Setting and monitoring dual goals: Well developed goals are an essential management tool - they communicate what’s important. It’s essential to track their progress and to monitor the success of specific targets, be they financial or social.

  • Structuring the organisation to support both goals: Certain activities create both social and economic value, others predominantly one type. It’s important for the organisation to develop a structure that best fits their model.

  • Hiring and socialising employees to embrace them: Embedding a dual-purpose focus within an organisation requires employees to have shared values, behaviours and processes. Every employee needs to understand value, and become able to contribute to both sets of goals in some format. People within such organisations tend to be successful when they fully understand and connect in this manner. Continuous and open communication is essential to keep socialising the company’s goals and values, and also to create an environment where people can safely raise concerns.

  • Practicing dual-minded leadership: Tensions will inevitably arise in organisations with dual-purpose goals; these will often involve competition for resources and differing views on how to reach these goals. Leaders must work proactively to address tensions whilst protecting the financial and social side of the organisation.

There are still hurdles for dual-purpose organisations that are outside of a company’s control; the main one being that the business environment is set up to prioritise the creation of shareholder wealth. The regulations, educational standards, investment models and norms that assess economic and social value are still mostly distinct from each other. The authors state that companies must fight the inertia and traditional ways of thinking in order to change themselves and the current business ecosystem. The four key elements outlined above are designed to help.

Here at Royall we have created a ‘People, Purpose and Profit Plan’ to accomplish a successful and profitable business yes, but equally important, to continually develop our people, and a happy healthy culture and legacy.

Our specialist events recruitment team work to a robust set of values and ethical behaviours; most importantly we place integrity at the heart of all we do.

We align with the principles of The Good Recruitment Campaign (as devised and developed by The Good Recruitment Campaign Advisory Panel, REC).

By working in partnership with our clients, we actively ensure that:

  • client partners acquire the talent they need in order to develop and thrive.

  • talent is aligned to roles which fulfil their potential.

Do contact us now if you need any advice on purposeful work-place environments, events recruitment and or either head-hunting or contract and permanent staff within the events and communications industry.

Please contact Jenny Royall on 01243 2000777

Reference: The Dual-Purpose Playbook

J. Battilana, A-C. Pache, M. Sengul, M. Kimsey.

Harvard Business Review, March – April 2019

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