To build a business world that champions sustainability, equity, and well-being, you must first change people’s beliefs.
That’s what a new strategic narrative helps you do.
In recent years, a striking consensus has emerged about the importance of businesses and brands to impact the world positively. More and more people realize that social responsibility is not in opposition to profit.
For instance, some automakers just announced that they would commit to stop producing anything other than electric vehicles. They know that this strategic move comes with a strong correlation with success. Companies that focus on doing good gain a significant edge. It is still about value creation, but we are augmenting the definition of the word value.
There is a wealth of possibilities to create innovation that improves our world. And it seems like we can invent new technologies at a previously impossible speed. We developed a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year. That’s fast, considering that the fastest vaccine — the mumps vaccine — took 4 years to develop.
However, innovation is characterized by uncertainty. Adopting something new sometimes requires tough changes. As an innovator, you will need to solve technical problems. Most importantly, you will need to convince people to replace their long-time institutionalized habits with new and little-tested ones.
Doing good requires you to stop focusing on telling stories about your product and serving shareholders only. Instead, it would be best if first, you reframed some of the narratives that drive society. Your community needs to feel the urgency to change the “old way” before it can welcome something new.
The COVID vaccine strategic narrative helped to mobilize the scientific community quickly. In a matter of weeks, a public-private partnership came together to allow to enroll 30 to 40,000 people into a clinical trial. They were from multiple sites and backgrounds.
Craft a new narrative about how changing the narrative can help everyone. If you show how everybody can benefit from your new view of the world, everybody will want to help you win and embrace your innovation.
Finally, when people understand that your purpose is about doing good, there is less shame in growing. Because the more you grow, the more good you’re doing. You don’t have to choose between doing good and making money.