Transcendence relies on a strong culture
Eight attributes to cultivate
Companies are very interested in culture. Those who lead understand that this gives them a distinct competitive advantage. What would Nike or Microsoft be without their culture? The answer is “not so successful”. For goal-driven companies, culture protects the things that matter most: a strong focus on goal achievement, fully engaged employees, an open mindset, quick reinvention, and responsiveness. As Simon Sinek pointed out, purpose is the “why” of a business. But it also represents a desired “end” state – what a company is constantly striving to become. The implication is profound.
The goal sets the achievement in motion. As a company seeks its goal, there will always be a large number of challenges, obstacles, market changes, external shocks and even character
and changing priorities. Achieving the goal requires strategic planning as well as mastery of disciplines such as scenario planning, development of multidisciplinary teams, continuous reinvention, market agility, and quick responsiveness to unexpected challenges. It forces people to look for better and better ways to achieve their goal – this idea is at the heart of any goal-oriented culture.
We find that the eight principles below are traits commonly shared by companies that strive for transcendence and are essential for purpose-driven companies to adopt. We use secondary research
and direct quotes from Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard to show the transformative power of principles in action.
Principle 1: Build and act on a clear goal identity
Patagonia has a strong brand identity that is purpose driven. Their identity stems from a strong sense of identity – an incredible combination of cultural values, beliefs and shared stories. They are minimalists, climbers, surfers and nature lovers who are fierce protectors of the planet.
According to the founder, “Patagonia’s image stems directly from the values, outdoor pursuits and passions of its founders and employees. The only way to maintain an image is to live up to it.”
to her. Our image is a direct reflection of who we are and what we believe.
Principle 2: lead by example
Goal Leaders are deeply focused, passionate about their business purpose, and personally aligned. They intentionally lead with purpose and seem blind to the tension between purpose and profit – confident that decisions made with purpose will lead to better long-term financial results.
“Before we have the right to encourage other companies to act responsibly, we have to do it ourselves. There’s only one way to lead, and that’s to be up front and lead by example. Our environmental assessment program educates us, and with education we have choices. When we take positive action to solve problems instead of ignoring them or trying to find a way around them, we move forward on the path to sustainability. Each time we chose to do the right thing, it turned out to be more profitable.
Principle 3: Align business policy, practices and programs
Patagonia’s goal is vertically integrated into its business practices and aligned across its entire organization. The best evidence comes directly from the founder’s thoughts on product development: “Maximum attention is given to product quality, as defined by sustainability, minimal use of natural resources, multi-functionalism, non- obsolescence and the kind of beauty that emanates from absolute fitness for the task. Worry about transient fashion trends is specifically not a business value.
From Purpose Brand research, we know that corporate giving authenticates the purpose you espouse. Patagonia has long donated 1% of its sales to charities and nonprofits that are
committed to protecting the planet. In 2019, they were named Champions of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest honor. Nearly 70% of Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and the goal is to be carbon neutral, a commitment that includes their supply chain, by 2025. This means they will use 100% renewable or recycled materials by 2025.
Principle 4: Valuing employees and their values
Patagonia leaders embrace employees and align their own purpose with employee values. They hire nature lovers and recognize that human resources policies must reflect these values.
Several examples deserve to be shared. Dean Carter, the human resources manager, said: “So when the surf is up, they’ll be surfing anyway. If we didn’t have a Let My People Go Surfing policy, we would have a lot of performance action plans. They give employees a three-day weekend every two weeks, working 9 hours a day from Monday to Thursday and 8 hours on alternating Fridays. They are also sponsoring two months of paid time off for employees to volunteer with a
environmental organization. Finally, the company will pay bail if an employee is thrown in jail for protesting.
Principle 5: Don’t apologize when you stick to the values and apologize when you stray from the course
Patagonia promotes a self-examined life. Through their voice and tone, they communicate a self-awareness and self-discovery that often eludes companies without purpose – and even does so when advertising. They don’t apologize when they’re protecting the planet, but only apologize when their values demand it and find the rare balance of understanding the cynical in us as well as the optimist – the demons that torment us.
This 2020 print advertisement below reflects this information. As humans, we are skeptics, but strong believers in our most passionate values.
We’re all screwed
So don’t tell us that We can imagine a healthy future Because the reality is It’s too late to fix the climate crisis And we don’t trust anyone who says We must demand a habitable planet Because we have no choice (Now read this bottom up)
Their apology after the George Floyd protests show deep thought and the discovery of broken promises. By “learning to be an anti-racist company,” Patagonia discovered, “we are a white-run outdoor company that depends on recreation on stolen Indigenous lands that are not yet safe for everyone. The past few months have revealed how much we need to do to live up to our values as an activist company. We have missed too much. Our hearts ache, but our pain is a far cry from what our colleagues who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color have suffered. We are sorry for the harm we have caused. »
Principle 6: Be empathetic and open to diversity, inclusion and equity
Patagonia’s communications regarding DE&I issues appear to accurately and authentically reflect the emotions of others and reflect deeply on the role they have played in perpetuating disparities. They said it so well: “We are learning to become an anti-racist company.
When it comes to sensitive topics, the company really seems to be at its communication best. We feel that their internal challenge to truly understand situations and act accordingly is
real. Their roots in employee and corporate activism can give them a quiet competitive edge. We believe this tension is effectively used to advance ideas and beliefs so that they are more easily accepted and to create products that are more easily purchased.
Principle 7: Be aware of yourself and always focus on doing better
Patagonia’s communication is always thoughtful, filled with information about positioning its goal and how the company can commit and act to achieve it. As a culture, they seem to challenge themselves at every turn.
The founder warns that Patagonia should “start with an attitude of embracing change rather than resisting it – not just changing mindlessly and weighing the relative merits of new ideas, but nonetheless assuming that if we look hard enough, it can there’s a better way to do things.
Principle 8: Be open to the unexpected and be adaptable
Patagonia is nimble in its approach and realizes that even as situations change, the company’s culture and values are the foundation for the future.
Chouinard said, “Our philosophies are not rules, they are guidelines. They are the cornerstone of our approach to any project, and although they are ‘set in stone’, their application to a situation is not. In any sustainable business, the ways of doing business may constantly change, but the values, culture and philosophies remain constant.
It is the same in nature. Nature is constantly changing and ecosystems harbor species that adapt either through catastrophic events or through natural selection. A healthy environment
operates with the same need for diversity and variety evident in a successful business, and that diversity stems from a commitment to constant change.
At the end of the line : A goal-oriented culture is a powerful weapon to protect a company’s resilience. He is committed to achieving a goal and to change – this is the world he lives in. He knows that global transformation is not possible without a commitment to change. For him, the concepts of evolution and adaptation go hand in hand – using a goal-oriented culture to transform the outside world.
As an iconic legend in the world of lens-driven enterprise, Patagonia has evolved well beyond the lens’ development stages and transformed into a truly lens-driven company. A goal-oriented culture can provide a huge competitive advantage. Each of us has the opportunity to strengthen our cultures using the above principles.
Adapted from ADAPT: Purpose of Scaling in a Divided World by Diane Primo.
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