The Purpose Paradox


Day One


Paddington Town Hall

“The best way to maximize profits, is not to make profits a primary goal.” 
- John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods


This quote from John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods and co-author of Conscious Capitalism sums up the ‘purpose paradox’ – that in order to maximise profit, a company’s purpose must actually replace profits as the primary goal of the business. 

Only by unreservedly pursuing purpose and letting purpose ‘drive’ — will a company see profit maximisation and performance in the long term.  The data shows that by doing this, they will in fact outperform other companies over time.

 This session will examine the primary motives of business, in the traditional sense to maximise shareholder value – and in the purpose-led business mindset. Building from the conversation earlier in the day around Cathedral Thinking, long-termism and the history of the corporation – the discussion will look at the original purpose of the company, how it has evolved into having a primary focus on profit – at the expense of all else, and the current correction and evolution of the purpose of the corporation that we are observing. And, of course, how purpose-driven companies are gaining the edge.



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