Exploring The Power Between Purpose and Profit

Whilst posting profit is no harm, as business needs finance to run her operations and meet investors’ expectations, the excessive focus on profit can sometimes become a misplaced priority when its pursuit overrides the goal of solving problems and creating solutions in the business. Having said that, a lot of firms believe that profit maximization is the greatest factor for measuring organizational performance; to some others – the feedback from customers and other service-related stakeholders is.  Corporations that exist with the intentions of meeting needs, proffering solutions, resolving local or global need – all stand better chances of corporate survival than those merely driven by pecuniary profit-making interests. 

Ravished in endless needs, problems, challenges and expectations – the human world corroborates money-making with problem-solving gestures which when competently rewarded remains the source of commercial living for so many individuals and body corporates. Meeting identified needs result in fulfilling a purpose that can further be translated into a corporate mandate; a social undertaking; coordinated assignment; or a going-concern need that must be met over and again with properly negotiated reward and pricing mechanisms. 


Synonymous with a mission, intention, primary objectives or reason for existence, the purpose is the pillar upon which the life of every producer or organization is built. The will power of purpose enables the business to be deeply involved in solving problems and meeting needs. The intentionality of business is reflected in how it has impacted its stakeholders (customers, employees, line managers, investors and environment). Purpose helps a business to widen its horizon far ahead of the financial and pecuniary gains. Serious-minded organizations look forward to seeing how its flow of work, products and operations meet the primary needs of the larger society, consumers and other target audiences.  

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Purpose helps a business design an appropriate scorecard that carefully examines its intentions and needs. For example, solving health challenges, resolving logistics issues, providing power, solving financial needs, etc. These objectives and purposes are more intentional, deliberate and more practical than mere financial gains. The more the business revolves around creating solutions, the more the business performs and effects satisfaction on other levels.


The centre of an organization is not the mid-point of its geography, but – the essence of its existence as a body corporate. When floated for marginal returns, Profit represents the ROI which an investor makes on his business. Profit is a strong indicator of the business position; a measure of business growth; opportunities for expansion and ability to render appropriate financial returns to its owners; it’s an overall assessment of how far the business meets and surpasses the expectations of its investors in the market. In today’s business world, several businesses continue to fail and falter when more attention gets diverted to profit over purpose. When floated for profit, most organizations become distracted and look away from providing solutions without marginal profits. Brutal in their commercial approaches, shortsighted in strategy, disconnected from the environment and rapacious in operations, profit-driven organizations run with misplaced priorities. They are easily overtaken by high concentrations on profit thus failing to fulfil the primary needs, their strategies plummet and are characterized by suboptimal metrics that place top priority on financial indicators.

In its entirety, purpose answers the questions to corporate financing, manpower planning, and development, talent attraction, capabilities, values, stakeholder’s satisfaction, investors’ confidence, human solutions, environmental and social impacts, etc. Purpose connects owners with investors; connects employers with employees; and connects product and service leaders and managers with their team members; connects the firm with the market, community, stakeholders, and shareholders, etc. Employees find more fulfilment, satisfaction and achievements when their purpose connects their talents right on the employer’s desk. When clearly defined, the purpose is overtly embedded in business vision, mission and values with a set of cultural attitudes that translate into actionable metrics. Organizations that fail to see purpose as a major business driver tend towards –  shutdown; become myopic per marketing; and will be unable to create a system that is driven more by intentions and corporate direction. Whether linear or transformative purpose; fulfilling a need; meeting a desire; or driving an expectation moves a business mission constantly from thoughts to results.

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The purpose for which and organization was created must be well redefined to align with the modern and 21st-century ways businesses are run. It is the nucleus of an organization, the crux of its heart, the compass of its direction, the singular reason for existence.  Where there is no purpose, there is no existence, no meaning, no impact! As the workforce and the millennial impacts on the work settings, as well as customers expectation, tends to be more sophisticated, In an age of social liberalization and globalization, expectations of investors also are on the high side, global culture, innovations, emerging markets, technologies, etc are significantly shaping and impacting on how an organization must position itself to remain relevant, impactful and thriving. 


A Purpose is the singular identifier of ‘achieved performance’! It drives motivation; enhances career growth; propels passion for excellence; drives expectations; ignites unyielding commitments; and reinforces assurance and sustainable capabilities. Without purpose, personal goals, the culture of discipline and excellence will be extinguished. Employees will be disconnected from offering their talents and skills as they cannot see their roles in fulfilling a need. When employees are not emotionally and socially attached, career fulfillment will be jeopardized.

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There is a great interface between purpose and culture. Whilst purpose outlines the mission-mandate and explains reasons for existence, culture explains the way the purpose will be achieved, the methodology and human roles are outlined and defined by culture. Disciplined culture represents the attributes and systemic ways the business plans to meet its mission-purpose. It is therefore difficult to separate culture from the purpose. Culture outlines the characteristics and behavioral factors; Culture emphasizes the alignment between the business and its people. When purposes are established, culture enhances the clarity, paves way for execution, rides on simplicity, enthrones credibility, unifies mindsets,  facilitates and fosters unity, shared mindsets, etc. Successful corporations identity cultures as the leverage and platform for purpose-fulfilling and meeting the social expectations of customers and consumers.


Arguably, customers, are the real reasons businesses exist! No firm survives trading periods without a sufficient customer base. Meeting the social needs of the customers is an essential purpose that businesses cannot overlook. Solving problems is a purpose and a purpose-driven organization must be conversant with this mandate. While drawing out the corporate purpose – the greatest question remains – WHOSE PROBLEMS MUST BE SOLVED FIRST? Underlining this, a vivid understanding of the firm’s customers and their expectations remain major concerns to a trans-generational firm.  Until the purpose and or the needs of customers are met – A FIRM ONLY EXIST JUST ON PAPER!!!

Thank you.

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