I don’t normally go for corporate cheese – but this statement – clipped from the linked in feed did make sense and got me thinking.
I’m in the middle of the second round of fund raising for AgeWage and here you move from talking to friends and family to the wider world – the crowd.
As AgeWage doesn’t have anything to prove its concept, it is going to rely entirely on its perceived integrity so I hope that people share Leena Nair’s view and that they get our purpose before we deliver our product.
When a business is “boot-strapping” it is relying on its own resources, the time and energy of its founders, but most ambitious businesses need to grow at pace and that’s why they go to the market to get funds. Going to the market in this country is incredibly easy, we have an advanced system of crowd-funding which creates liquidity for start-ups, there are funds that invest in start-ups and all manner of platforms to advertise yourself to potential investors.
And there is a huge appetite among investors to put money to work, which is where “purpose”, becomes important – whether you are Unilever or AgeWage.
It’s generally held that these are uncertain times, though I have never lived through certain times nor do I expect to. The extraordinary is ordinary in the context of history, if it isn’t Trump or Brexit disrupting normal, it’s a global war, a financial crash, a tech boom or global warming. We will talk ourselves into feeling we are in uncertain times whatever.
And Leena Nair is right to link “purpose” to the uncertainty we feel. It is not enough for a business to be agile and pragmatic and opportunistic (those are the tactical values that keep us strong). Businesses must have a clear objective at their heart. I think of Unilever and I get it as a brand and I get Leena Nair as a person.
If you go on Linked In and check-out Leena Nair, this is what she tells you
“My purpose is to Ignite the Human Spark to build a Better Business and a Better World” #morehuman
I’m being told by the people I’m pitching to that I am a Fintech. I don’t mind that – financial technology will change things and things need changing. But the purpose behind AgeWage is my purpose and it’s #morehuman. I want people to feel good about getting old – I want them to understand their later life finances and take control of them. Fintech helps us get there – but the people are what matter.
Reading the article behind Leena Nair’s picture, I got a load of boring statistics about how Unilever’s purpose campaign is adding value – the kind of corporate stuff that is required of CHROs (if you can’t measure it …).
But this is true and it’s as true for Unilever as it is for a start up.
I truly believe that to thrive the ONLY thing we as a business must stay rigid on is staying true to our core beliefs and our purpose.
No one more human than Con Keating
Yesterday I heard that my very good friend – Con Keating – has had a heart attack. Con’s purpose in life is the same as mine – I’d like to achieve what he has achieved by the time I reach 70.
You will be pleased to know that Con is suffeciently recovered to have been making a nuisance of himself in the coronary ward of Coventry Hospital, and – all being well – he will make a full recovery.
If he has found some wi-fi on his ward he may even be reading this – in which case he can take solace in his obligations on Monday being covered!
There is no one on the planet who has more humanity than Con- he is a constant source of strength to me, our business and to the many people I know who know and admire him.
I am sure we all wish him a very quick recovery.