I just read about a great example of corporate social responsibility which demonstrates a sense of purpose. Outside Timpson shops which offer dry cleaning there are signs which says that if you are unemployed and need your outfit cleaned for an interview Timpson will dry clean it for free. What a great offer which really fits the ethos of Timpson of running things the right way. (I’m a bit late learning about this as the offer has been available since January this year!)
Is it good for business though? There is a direct cost to them of giving away the cleaning service which would normally be charged for, and that fits the “People” part of a triple bottom line approach, helping others. In the long term, if the person gets the job at their interview, it is likely that the offer will generate repeat business through reciprocity – humans are programmed to want to give back in return for things received for free. Wouldn’t you be likely to go back to the people that gave you a little help in getting the job and give them some paid business when you could? And there are likely to be people who will use Timpsons in order to contribute towards the free service they offer, even when they have no need to use it themselves. So there is likely to be “Profit” for Timpson too, albeit in the longer term.
Is there something similar you do or could do to demonstrate a clear sense of purpose?