Leading from the top: Why our CEOs need to deliver more than just profit

By Fiona Monks – Strategist, CX and Innovation at Datacom


Capitalism as we know it is getting shaky. There’s a wave of pressure coming from consumers, particularly our younger generations, demanding that businesses deliver more than just goods and services. They must regenerate the plant and empower our communities too.

And it’s not a fad or a movement that’s going to go away anytime soon. The reality of our planet’s finite resources will ultimately force the change in how businesses operate and how people consume. Now is the time for our corporate CEOs to lead from the top and show us this new way forward.

… capitalism has to purge its narrow fixation on financial capital and embrace at least five other capitals – natural, social, human, cultural and technological – with finance becoming only a mechanism to facilitate those, rather than an end in itself.

Source: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/05/565261?slug=oram-more-to-capitalism#

In New Zealand the Government’s response to the UN Sustainability Development Goals has been through the Living Standards Framework and the release of the Wellbeing Budget. Aotearoa has the chance to lead globally on ‘capitalism reimagined’ by leveraging our highly connected communities and embracing these goals through a Te Ao Māori lens.

So what is the  CEO to do? And what about the majority of us who aren’t CEOs? How can we craft this switch from a focus on the bottom line to a focus on the greater good? While the path for everyone will be different here are a few suggestions on where to start.

  1. Embrace your inner activist. Now is the time to connect with your personal and company values and stand up in the public eye for what you believe in. The audience is ready and waiting.
  2. Don’t try to solve everything yourself. At Datacom this is a big one for us, as we see the incredible value that’s generated when organisations come together to solve common problems. We’re part of the #TheBigShift, a movement that’s rethinking how we resource and deliver change in communities. It is a radical shift in how community impact is realised and we exist to build a collaborative multi-sector movement that creates and accelerates impact.
  3. Open your mind to new ways of thinking. You don’t need to become a subject-matter expert, but increasing your awareness of systems thinking and circular economies  will put you in good stead to better identify the opportunities available to your organisation. Going Circular can lead to new business lines, more robust and diversified business models and greater customer engagement.
  4. Empower your employees, colleagues and networks. The best ideas come from all levels of your business. It’s why we’re so keen to educate all of our Datacom team on Circular as part of Datacomp 2019. We want to enable everyone at all levels to spot opportunities to work differently and deliver multifaceted outcomes.

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