Innovation In Compliance - Profits + Purpose with George Serafeim

Thomas Fox - Compliance Evangelist
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George Serafeim is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the book, Profits + Purpose, How Business Can Uplift The World. His contribution to the compliance space is enviable, including advising many compliance professionals. George and I discuss his new book and explore how it benefits businesses and compliance professionals.

A Strong Sense of Purpose

I asked George why he wrote the book, Profits + Purpose. George says that he See more +

George Serafeim is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the book, Profits + Purpose, How Business Can Uplift The World. His contribution to the compliance space is enviable, including advising many compliance professionals. George and I discuss his new book and explore how it benefits businesses and compliance professionals.

A Strong Sense of Purpose

I asked George why he wrote the book, Profits + Purpose. George says that he noticed a trend that students, when asked why they chose to study business, often replied: “because of money.” In reality, however, most people venture into business because they have an interesting idea about a cool product they’re passionate about. “Most people that go into business have a strong sense of purpose,” he tells me; “it is something I’ve seen in my students over time that has ended up doing incredible things.” Purpose-driven business leaders often create incredible and profitable organizations. It’s important to be profitable since profits make your business sustainable and scalable. George points out that technology has changed the world, expanding transparency and choice. These changes add value to an organization, he says.

A Balancing Act

“Human, social, intellectual, and natural capital are becoming increasingly important drivers in competitiveness around the world,” George remarks. “It’s all about balancing the act between how you view the ability to deliver, show short-term results that build credibility in the marketplace and build momentum inside the organization, and keep an eye on the long-term vision about how you deliver to stakeholders.” Purpose-driven organizations can make these tough choices because they have the proper systems.

The Role of Gen Xers and Millennials

I ask George how he sees the role of Gen Xers and millennials in the discussion about profit. From his observations, George responds that younger working class generations view the world differently from their predecessors. “They have very high expectations about workplace practices….” Essentially, they are looking for autonomy in their jobs, being given ample opportunities to grow, and they expect their workplace to be transparent about their practices.

The Six Archetypes of Value Creation

George and I discuss the six archetypes of value creation. These archetypes highlight the transformative things you can do inside your organization. On the one axis, you have the potential value you could create through your actions, and on the other is the implementation risk. The higher the implementation risk, the higher the potential for value creation. See less -

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