Are you tired of the traditional top-down leadership models that focus solely on profit and self-interest? In a world facing climate emergencies, extreme weather events, and a need for sustainable practices, a new approach is emerging: collaborative leadership.
In this episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, guest Simon Mainwaring highlights the urgent need for businesses to show up differently and engage with their stakeholders. This revolutionary style of leadership goes beyond the bottom line and embraces a community-focused approach that celebrates suppliers, customers, employees, and consumers. By positioning your brand as a platform on which stakeholders stand, you can unlock the power of being a movement and achieve phenomenal success.
Join us as we explore the concept of collaborative leadership, its impact on B2B companies, and how it can pave the way for a sustainable future. Get ready to revolutionize your leadership style and make a meaningful difference in the world.
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About Simon Mainwaring
Simon Mainwaring is a renowned author and business consultant who has dedicated over a decade to helping large corporations and startups achieve substantial growth. Through his company, he has assisted numerous companies in tackling the challenges that compromise their future and overall business success. Recognizing the need for quick and effective problem-solving, Simon’s focus shifted to addressing the issues of speed and scale within organizations. His passion lies in developing strategies that inspire all stakeholders to collaborate in building successful businesses, ultimately leading to greater impact and scalability. This dedication led Simon to write his latest book, driven by a desire to harness the power of collective efforts and drive positive change.
The Power of Purpose and Sustainability in B2B Success: Insights from Simon Mainwaring
In a world facing significant challenges caused by climate change and unsustainable practices, businesses have a unique opportunity to drive positive change while achieving success. In this episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, host Vinay Koshy invites Simon Mainwaring, an expert in purpose-driven marketing and sustainability, to discuss how B2B companies can leverage purpose and sustainability to thrive in today’s business landscape.
Recognizing the Urgency:
Mainwaring emphasizes that the consequences of overconsumption and unsustainable practices, such as climate emergencies and extreme weather events, are now evident. He points to current headlines about fires, floods, and other extreme weather events worldwide, underlining the need for businesses to show up differently. Mainwaring argues that sustainability is not just a moral imperative but also a self-evident business case, as companies prioritizing sustainability are rewarded in the market.
Shifting the Focus:
One common mistake that companies make is a self-centered approach to their messaging and operations. Mainwaring suggests that companies should celebrate their stakeholders instead of talking about themselves, including employees, customers, and suppliers. By adopting a community-focused mindset, businesses can transform their content, messaging, and engagement. Mainwaring advocates positioning the brand as a platform on which stakeholders stand, leveraging the power of being a movement for the benefit of the business.
Lead with We:
Mainwaring introduces the “Lead with We” concept, which involves engaging multiple stakeholders through a shared purpose. He advises B2B companies to define a foundational purpose that serves as a slingshot for a movement. This movement starts with leadership strategy and goals and extends through company culture, the brand, consumer communities, partners, and society. Mainwaring emphasizes that businesses are now expected to address social and cultural issues, and companies that integrate purpose are better positioned for success.
Integrating Purpose and Profit:
Mainwaring challenges the notion that purpose and profit can or should be separated. By integrating purpose and profit, companies can create a mutually beneficial relationship where purpose supports the products and, in turn, leads to profitability. He cites examples from various industries, such as automotive, apparel, and beauty, where companies have successfully transitioned to more sustainable practices and aligned their branding with social and environmental contributions. Mainwaring advises B2B companies to consider changing customer expectations and prioritize defensibility and a clear purpose.
Maintaining a Strong Culture:
Addressing businesses’ challenges, including economic shocks and social disruptions, Mainwaring highlights the importance of a strong company culture. He compares leadership to a steady cam or gyroscope, remaining steady while absorbing shocks. Defining a clear purpose, values, and behaviors within the organization is crucial. Mainwaring suggests implementing rituals and traditions, such as regular all-hands meetings and volunteer days, to keep the purpose alive and engage employees. He emphasizes the need for storytelling to connect employees to the company’s mission and purpose.
Recognizing Positive Change:
While Mainwaring acknowledges the amount of amazing work being done to regenerate the planet, he laments the lack of recognition it receives in the media and society. The speaker attributes this to individuals involved in the work being too busy to seek recognition, while news and social media focus on negativity and clickbait. Mainwaring encourages individuals to moderate their news consumption, maintain a healthy perspective on social media, and actively seek out positive stories of change to remain optimistic.
The Renaissance of Purpose in Business:
Mainwaring believes that we are at the beginning of an exciting renaissance in purpose-driven business. Companies that work with the planet rather than against it will become the new leaders and achieve massive success. He emphasizes the importance of personal purpose in motivating individuals and suggests that companies provide opportunities for employees to find their personal purpose and bring it to life within the organization.
To differentiate themselves, Mainwaring advises companies to commit to something authentic that aligns with their brand rather than just following trends. IBM’s call for code program, inviting developers to use their code to solve pressing sustainability issues, is an example of an authentic commitment tied to their purpose. By committing to a cause genuinely, companies attract talent, gain consumer loyalty, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Collaborative Leadership Embracing Purpose: Driving Business Success in a Changing World
Businesses are finding themselves at a crossroads in a world grappling with challenges such as climate change, extreme weather events, and the urgent need for sustainability. The old paradigm of profit-at-all-costs is no longer viable, and companies must redefine their purpose to thrive and make a positive impact. Simon shares his insights into using collaborative leadership to drive purpose-driven business and how it can ensure predictable success in the B2B industry.
Main Takeaways from the Episode:
1. Purpose as a Driver for Success:
The current state of the world demands that businesses embrace purpose to contribute to solving global challenges while achieving their bottom-line goals. By shifting their focus from profit to purpose, companies can build movements that engage stakeholders, differentiate from competitors, and attract conscious consumers.
Define a foundational purpose that serves as a slingshot for your business and resonates with your stakeholders. Align your leadership strategy, company culture, brand, consumer communities, partners, and society to build a powerful movement.
2. Purpose Integrated with Profit:
The idea of separating purpose from profit is outdated. Purpose-driven companies are better received by IPOs, investors, and employees and have a tremendous impact on consumer perception. Integrating purpose with profit is key, making it part of the brand’s DNA.
Ensure that your purpose supports your products and that your products reinforce your purpose. Create a cohesive narrative that showcases your commitment to making a difference while delivering value to your customers.
3. Meeting Changing Customer Expectations:
Customers now prioritize companies that have a clear purpose and demonstrate defensibility. B2B companies must proactively research their competitors and understand how they define their purpose in the market. By meeting or exceeding these expectations, businesses can differentiate themselves and cater to a growing conscious consumer base.
Conduct comprehensive market research to understand how your purpose compares to your competitors. Evaluate whether your purpose aligns with your target customers’ expectations and make adjustments if necessary.
4. Building a Resilient Company Culture:
A strong company culture acts as a steady cam or gyroscope, helping organizations navigate unexpected shocks and challenges. Defining a clear purpose, values, and behaviors within the organization and reinforcing them through rituals and traditions keeps the purpose alive and engages employees.
Create regular forums, such as all-hands meetings, where employees can connect with the company’s purpose and share stories of impact. Foster an environment where employees are encouraged to bring their personal purpose to life and provide opportunities to contribute in ways that resonate with them.
5. Moderating News Consumption and Seeking Positive Stories:
Amidst the overwhelming negativity in news and social media, it is essential to maintain a healthy perspective. Look for positive stories of individuals, young demographics, and inspiring innovators working to regenerate the planet. By moderating news consumption and consciously seeking out positive stories, we can avoid feeling disheartened and overwhelmed and instead focus on the positive forces of change.
- Set limits on news consumption, especially negative stories.
- Seek out positive news sources and platforms dedicated to sharing positive impact stories.
- Engage in conversations and join communities that promote positive change.
The world is in a state of transformation, and B2B companies have a unique opportunity to be part of the solution. Embracing purpose-driven business practices can not only lead to predictable success but also help address pressing global challenges. By defining a strong purpose, integrating it with profit, meeting changing customer expectations, building a resilient company culture, and seeking positive stories, B2B companies can thrive in the new paradigm. The time for change is now – let us work together to reshape the business landscape and create a sustainable and prosperous future for all.
Actionable Takeaway: Start by defining your company’s purpose and comprehensively assessing your organization’s alignment with it. Implement initiatives that integrate purpose with profit, prioritize customer expectations, foster a resilient company culture, and actively seek positive stories to share internally and externally. Together, we can drive predictable B2B success and make a lasting positive impact on our world.
Some areas we explore in this episode include:
- The urgent need for businesses to address sustainability and the environmental challenges we face.
- The importance of shifting focus from self-promotion to celebrating stakeholders.
- The role of collaborative leadership in purpose-driven organizations
- The power of positioning a brand as a platform for stakeholders and leveraging it as a movement.
- The integration of purpose and profit in business strategy.
- Examples of industries transitioning to more sustainable practices and promoting social and environmental contributions.
- The changing expectations of customers and the importance of defensibility and a clear purpose for B2B companies.
- The importance of maintaining a strong culture to withstand economic shocks.
- Strategies for defining and communicating company purpose to engage employees.
- The need to moderate news and social media consumption to avoid feeling overwhelmed or disheartened.
- The potential for companies that work with the planet to achieve massive success and lead in the future.
- And much, much more.
Listen to the episode
Related links and resources
- Check out Simon’s personal website
- Check out We First Branding
- Get a copy of Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future
- Learn from Ben Albert – Intentional Networking for C-Suite Executives: How to Make Connections That Matter
- Learn from Robbie Phoenixx – How to Harness Competitive Intelligence For Creative Business Solutions
- Learn from Douglas Squirrel – How to Use Agile Conversations And Collaboration as Drivers of Growth And as Catalysts For Breakthroughs
- Learn more from Indus Khaitan – Mastering Tech Spend Reduction with Quolum’s Indus Khaitan: Embracing Curiosity and Persistence in Problem-Solving and Product Direction
- Learn from Christopher Cumby – How to Use Powerful Sales Gamification Techniques to Drive Growth
- Learn even more with Anna Harrison – How to Boost Your Brand Message And Drive Growth With Data-Driven Insights And Customer Empathy
Connect with Simon
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