Triple Bottom Line

5 Factors for Purpose-Driven Businesses

February 15, 2023 Taylor Martin / Dev Patnaik
Triple Bottom Line
5 Factors for Purpose-Driven Businesses
Show Notes Transcript

Dev Patnaik, author, adjunct professor, keynote speaker, and CEO of Jump Associates—a strategy and innovation firm helping companies go beyond profits and focus on work that matters. Dev is also a board trustee of Conscious Capitalism, and a trusted advisor to some of the world’s most well-known brands. In this show we cover the top 5 factors for what it takes to truly be a purpose-driven business. Dev shares data and insight on how the future of business is purpose-driven while being more profitable.  https://www.jumpassociates.com

Triple Bottom Line | Episode 53 | Dev Patnaik

[Upbeat theme music plays] 
Female Voice Over 
[00:02] Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. Here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin 
[00:17] Welcome everybody! I have Dev Patnaik here today. He is here to speak about social purpose, woke capitalism and green washing, but first, a little bit about Dave, who’s laughing already. He’s the CEO of Jump Associates, which is a strategy and innovation firm helping companies grow beyond just making money. Dave is a Board of Trustees for a conscious capitalism, he’s a trusted advisor to some of the world's most well known brands like Target, Nike, Universal Music Group, Virgin and the like. He’s also an author, adjunct professor, keynote speaker and has written for Business Week, Forbes, Fast Company and more. 

Dev, great to have you on the show. When you first started out in your career, did you see yourself landing where you are today?

Dev Patnaik 
[01:04] I probably thought I might land here but for wildly different reasons. Isn’t that the crux of it. I think somewhere in my mid-teens, I knew I wanted to move to California. It was snowy and cold in New York and I knew probably wanted to start a company; that seemed like a cool thing. The reasons why I would do that are wildly different from why I do it today.

Taylor Martin
[01:27] Well, tell me. Let’s get into the wildly. 

Dev Patnaik
[01:31] The real difference is purpose, and it is that the big why. When you’re 14 years old, 15 years old, you’re like, oh, it would be so cool to start a company someday, not realizing that a company at its best can be a vehicle for greater purpose for a greater cause. I should step back and jump to the strategy and innovation working, which is a very niche thing. We help folks figure out how to grow. In the last 10 years, every single one of our competitors, not most of them but all of them, have either gone out of business or been acquired. Not surprisingly then, people come knocking on our door, the big legacy management consultants and they say, we’d like to buy you, too. We’ll talk to them. We have no desire to be bought but one of the things that we’ll tell them in conversations is you need to realize that Jump is more like REI or Patagonia or Starbucks or Wholefoods than it is Bain or McKinsey or BCG. The biggest difference is that purpose, that greater idea for why we’re in business.

Taylor Martin 
[02:41] Right, so you’re purpose-driven and your purpose-driven is not going to sell out. You’re not looking to be bought out. You’re looking to do something with it.

Dev Patnaik 
[02:48]
I could imagine us being acquired if it helped us to increase our impact. Jump’s purpose is to transform lives through learning and growth. We work with a lot of very large great companies that are great at doing things but they’re not always great at learning new things. Even societally, we live in a society that hates to learn. We have leaders who are proud but how little they read or how rarely they change their mind. Similarly, we have folks who have a mindset that is a very fixed mindset, they don’t have a growth mindset about what people are capable of. In the midst of that, we have this very, say, counter-cultural idea that you can transform lives through learning and growth. You can shape how the world moves forward and how we solve the biggest problems that not just companies have but society has, if you can learn your way out of it. Unfortunately that is distinctive in 2023.

Taylor Martin
[03:49] Yeah, I would say we’ve been learning how to live and learning how to create a world in which to live in but we haven’t been very thoughtful of it and that is the whole reason why purpose-driven companies is such a hot topic right now. Let me dive into, from your perspective what are the top five key characteristics that differentiates a purpose-driven company. 

Dev Patnaik 
[04:10] Yeah, and I should say that there are three kinds of companies out there that we see. There are companies that are not purpose-driven companies. God bless them, that is just not their thing, and very successful ones. Amazon is a very successful company. I would argue that it is not a purpose-driven company and that leads to many of the discontents that we have about Amazon. Then there’s the second type of folks. These are the folks who are purpose-talking companies. We can name names there too and talk about the ones that they say they have purpose but that maybe just be a piece of advertising or a tag line written on the wall. Then there are the companies that are truly shaped by their purpose to be very different from the rest of us and we can learn from those.

Taylor Martin 
[04:58] Yeah, like Patagonia.

Dev Patnaik
[05:00] Like Patagonia, like REI, like Ben and Jerry’s, even under management by Unilever. What’s the difference between companies who say they’re purpose driven and companies that are purpose driven. I think right now, having a purpose is a very buzzy thing. It’s a very cool thing.

Taylor Martin
[05:19] Right.  

Dev Patnaik
[05:20] When you look at how they perform, you would look and say being a purpose-driven company doesn’t really matter that much. It doesn’t change your fortunes in the world. We’ve just seen a couple of studies that have come out that say, the difference between purpose-driven companies and ordinary companies is nil. I thought about it, and I said – my colleagues and I at Jump, we said, how could that possibly be. It turns out it’s because they don’t have a good mechanism for evaluating whether this company is really purpose driven. We’ve put together, actually, a scorecard of what makes a truly purpose-driven company. If you take companies on a scale of zero to 100 who rate at least a 50 – let’s be generous, above a 50 on our scorecard on five big factors, when you look at them the difference in their performance is massive. It’s a couple orders of magnitude beyond the S&P 500 and it’s even – they stand out by a few basis points even to folks in their own sector. If you’re truly purpose driven, it actually pays off as being better for your business overall.

Taylor Martin
[06:29] You guys had to go out and find your own metrics to measure a purpose-driven company from, basically, the standard norm.

Dev Patnaik 
[06:35] We really did, and we found five things. Number one: does a company have an activated purpose? Do they have a reason to exist beyond making money that anybody in the company can tell you what it is, and it guides decision-making. Number two: is there an aligned culture? Is there a set of values and behaviors that you can count on. The people, internally and externally, can count on that this company is going to show up in this way. Number three: is there stakeholder-centricity or is this organization just about providing a return to shareholders, or are they doing right by their employers, their customers, their partners on a win-win basis. Number four: is there any sort of next-level leadership development. For the best purpose-driven companies, these are places that have to grow a new kind of leader that we haven’t seen before. In the best firms that we see, if you join this organization when you’re 22, you have a higher likelihood of being a CEO or a Senator or a societal leader when you’re 52. Finally, future focus. Are you living week to week or quarter to quarter or do you have these broader planning systems. The best companies that we see have a vision and roadmap where they are five or seven years out as to where they want to be because this stuff takes time.

Those five factors together, activated purpose, aligned culture, stakeholder-centricity, next level leadership and future focus, you can evaluate your own organization on those five factors. That makes the difference between a company that just has a tag line written on the wall when I walk into your lobby versus one that’s truly purpose-driven.

Taylor Martin
[08:29] I want to dive into each one of those. The one thing that’s’ really on the top of mind right now after hearing that is, when people are coming to you and asking you to help them with a purpose-driven initiative, do they understand those things. Do you have to really sit down and educate them in this so that they understand that doing this is actually going to make all bottom lines, the triple bottom line, better, going to increase profit. I feel like when people come into this, they fear that if we’re going to be purpose-driven, we’re not going to make money. How do you overcome that conversation?

Dev Patnaik 
[08:58] That’s exactly right. If the choice is, well, we’re going to have a greater purpose or we’re going to make money, we are missing the boat here because then we’re not creating value for all stakeholders. Having a purpose should drive greater value for shareholders and customers and employees and partners. It should be win-win, win-win across the board. That is very different from the current conversation around something like ESG. I don’t want to criticize folks who spend their days thinking about ESG, but in too many situations we see it as, well, we’re going to do something that is, let’s call it at best ethically neutral, as our core business and then we’re going to write a check on the side to a charity or just make sure that we’re not polluting the water too much while we’re doing it or make sure that we’re treating our employees halfway decently. That is a very low bar in 2023.



Taylor Martin
[09:57] Yeah, agreed, agreed. Let’s go back. Let’s dig in a little bit here. Activated, can you elaborate on what you do when you come to people and you say, okay, we need to activate your brand to be purpose-driven.

Dev Patnaik
[10:10] The first important point is that you can’t activate your brand, you can activate your company. This is where people get it wrong. There’s all this conversation around purpose-driven brands, as if you could just do it as a marketing exercise. A real purpose, an authentic purpose, has to be the true communication of who you really are as a company. Look, I don’t want to pick on too many people but let’s take a company like Unilever. I have a lot of respect for Unilever, I buy their products. I have a 15-year-old daughter, so I love the fact that they have a real beauty campaign for Dove that is all about saying you should accept what your body looks like and who you are. I think that’s great. I would be far more behind what Dove is saying to my daughter if not right down the hall in the exact same business, the people who work on Axe body spray are telling my son that they should view every woman based on their looks and using Axe body spray will get them in bed faster. In an age of extreme transparency, you can’t just fake it. You can’t just say one thing outside and be something else on the inside, so you really need to make sure you’re building a purpose-driven company, not just purpose-driven brands.

Taylor Martin
[11:36] This just falls right into the second one with aligned culture. If it’s not as simple as that and it’s not as easy to understand, then the culture just won’t grab on to it. Is that correct?

Dev Patnaik
[11:46] That’s exactly right. Successful people want to know what winning looks like. They want to know how I should behave when I come in, in the morning. If I have to constantly change, act one way in one situation and act another way in another situation, then I’m acting out of integrity, either with myself or with my company. What we see is that every major organization has a set of values on the wall. Purpose-driven companies actually stick to this values, actually measure their performance against those values, actually fire people when they don’t live up to and demonstrate those values. It’s just about staying true to that that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow.

Taylor Martin
[12:30] Let’s move on to number three, stakeholder-centricity. How do they receive that and when I say “they”, I mean the companies that you’re speaking to. When you’re having this initial meeting with them and you talk about how we need to communicate and how we need to organize our information or our company to shareholders or any stakeholders, really, how does that work.

Dev Patnaik
[12:48] The good news is that people are finally waking up to this. When Larry Fink at BlackRock is saying, look, we have to do right by a number of different stakeholders, it means we’re finally turning the corner on this and we’re paying attention to this in a broad way. If you take a company like REI, they are structured for this because their customers are their members, so it’s one to one. I love what Yvon Chouinard did with Patagonia. Just the idea of, look, I’m going to take all of my ownership and put it in a trust that is devoted to making sure that the earth is protected, so that the earth becomes their biggest shareholder.

Taylor Martin
[13:29] Love it!

Dev Patnaik
[13:30] Now, there’s other ways to do it that don’t have to be all the way up at that level. It is a spectrum from here to there. What we found is that there are organizations who, when they’re doing right by their partners through the pandemic, when they did right by their employees through the pandemic, there are organizations that we’re seeing who are just looking differently about this. One of the ones I love is a startup called LOOK Cinema, these are movie theaters and they’re founded by a guy named Brian Schultz. He basically invented the concept of sitting in a movie theater and ordering a fine dining meal while you’re watching a movie. He started that with something called Studio Movie Grill. All the way through the pandemic, he did right by all of his investors but he did right by all of his employees, too. At a time when everyone else is complaining that they can’t find people now or they can’t find staff, people are banging on the door to work with Brian at LOOK Cinema. Now, are saying, did he do right by his employees or did he do right by his shareholders. It turns out that you can do right by both in a way that’s better for everybody.

Taylor Martin
[14:45] I feel like nowadays, it’s really about transparency because you can’t really hide that many things these days. There’s just eyeballs everywhere: people talking, people texting, people tweeting, people on social media.  I feel like that level of transparency that is just innate in our society, it’s going to show the cracks. If you’re not authentic, then it’s going to come back. If you’re saying one thing and you’re doing another, it’s going to come back and bite you and it could bite you hard.

Dev Patnaik
[15:14] That’s exactly right and to be fair, look who’s getting in trouble on these things right now. Starbucks is a great example of this, but why is Starbucks getting in trouble about this. Starbucks is getting in trouble because they actually have greater values that people are holding them to in a way that we’re not holding other companies to. We just expect more from Starbucks. I’ve had the chance to sit and listen in on customer service calls at Starbucks, when somebody had a bad experience. It is not like a normal company, let me put it that way. It looks less like I was mistreated at this Starbucks; I demand a free latte and that’s the standard customer service call. These calls sound more like frustrated fans on AM radio the morning after their team lost. They’re like, come on guys, we’re better than this! [inaudible] this shit never happens. There’s a greater disappointment because they’re Starbucks, damn it. Yes, you’re going to get held to a higher standard if you espouse a greater purpose, if you articulate greater values that you want to be held to. The result is also, when you don’t hold up to them, people will come and rally to you in a very different way than I demand a free latte.

Taylor Martin
[16:44] Yeah, absolutely. I think, I demand a free latte is an old-school way of thinking, like it’s me, me, me and you’re talking about we, we, we.

Dev Patnaik
[16:50] It’s transactional. It’s we, we, we, exactly.

Taylor Martin
[16:53] You’re talking, we, we, we [inaudible].

Dev Patnaik
[16:54] Exactly, we’re in this together.

Taylor Martin
[16:55] Yeah, exactly. The thing is that I think we’ve moved into a certain level of marketing and communications that when done right, you are inviting people over to your brand in a relationship capacity. Once you break it into that relationship capacity – you can look at one of our past podcasts on Brand Love – you’re building that bond of love with that person, even though you’re a coffee shop or a car manufacturer or whatever. When you build that love relationship with somebody, then they are on team your brand, whatever that is.

Dev Patnaik
[17:25] That is exactly right.

Taylor Martin
[18:27] What you’re saying is that they see you going to the store, the coffee shop, I am you. We’re on the same team, you guys should be better than this. This should be better than this, I shouldn’t have this, or I should have had that. That is what you want. Now, what I referenced earlier about it biting you on the butt is that that when something really goes wrong, it usually goes wrong two or three times in a row, where you’re trying to fix something and you’re not being authentic. You might be saying one thing and doing another.

Dev Patnaik
[17:57] That’s exactly right. I think we’ve seen that, going back to the Starbucks example. Some of the challenges they’ve had with unionizing in the last couple of years have come out of the fact that they felt that there was something broken in that original promise, which brought Howard Schultz back to lead the company and now with Laxman taking over. I think a lot of it is about healing and reasserting that contract that they have, that we’re all in this together.
 
Taylor Martin
[18:31] Just like a “relationship”; it is a relationship you’re talking about. All the things you’re talking about, it’s just like a relationship.

Dev Patnaik
[18:40] It very much is a relationship. When it goes well, the level of loyalty that you see is beyond what you would capture in a customer satisfaction questionnaire or something like that. I remember this moment in time, we’re going back almost 20 years now, where Apple was really not doing well with their computers. They had launched a series of laptops that there was some problems with the battery. they were lighting on fire. I just remember that the people online in the chatrooms and stuff were talking about it like, “Oh, yeah, this is really bad. These are lighting on fire. I’m going to hold off on this model and wait until next year’s model.” What? This company is putting out computers that are lighting on fire and you’re just going to hold off until next year’s model! That’s an entirely different level of commitment.

Taylor Martin
[19:37] I’m so glad you brought that up because I think this relationship building, it’s like you’re building an army of people that are fighting for your brand.

Dev Patnaik
[19:45] Yeah. It’s your tribe and they’re going to hold you to it and they’re going to call out when you’re being inconsistent, but they still love you and they’ll stick by you.

Taylor Martin
[19:55] Yeah, but the thing is, they are your tribe members that are out there fighting for you because I remember that time as well. I remember people arguing in chat windows talking about, yeah, but you know, it’s probably just their manufacturer, whoever’s supporting them. It’s not their fault. People are just arguing on behalf of Apple, sticking up for Apple’s brand. I was just sitting there watching it because I wasn’t logged into the system. I was just going, wow, this is really interesting on a psychological level. What’s going on here?

Dev Patnaik
[20:21] Totally. Look, sports fans on AM radio. That’s exactly what it is.

Taylor Martin
[20:27]. Exactly, exactly. You nailed it. What we just talked about is broadening your stakeholder base or even your shareholder, because nowadays, everybody can be a stakeholder or shareholder in any company. What we’re talking about does extend and broaden your stakeholder/shareholder base. Wouldn’t you agree?

Dev Patnaik
[20:46] Absolutely, which means that you have to change your management techniques. Which means that you actually have to develop leaders who can think beyond just it’s all about me, me, me. Beyond even, it’s about we or us, to, it’s about all of us, everybody that we have to do right by. That is hard because most companies are not set up for doing that kind of leadership development, which is exactly why the fourth factor that we look at is next level leadership. Are you building an engine for developing leaders from me to we, to everyone, to all of us?

Taylor Martin
[21:24] That just goes right into the fourth item, the characteristic that you mentioned earlier, next-level leadership. I have a sticking point with this because I have seen many different companies. They don’t really provide a mentorship program. They might say they have one, but it doesn’t really work that well. It’s that next-level leadership bringing leadership up. We have a client that is in facility maintenance. They just make sure the brands look good in their retail, and restaurants, and their offices, and stuff like that across the United States. Their mission statement is to create tomorrow’s leaders. When I read that, I was like, man, this is a client I want to have for my company because they get it. They actually get it. Can you talk to some of the things or some of the hurdles that people have to overcome in this area? Because I feel like it’s just sorely misunderstood and not really well-managed.

Dev Patnaik
[22:20] Yeah, it is an incredible challenge for companies in the 21st century to build next-level leaders because what a leader looks like now is wildly different from what it did 25 years ago. You have to lead with vulnerability. You have to be far more strategic in your thinking. You have to influence, not just command and control. There’s a lot of obstacles that get in the way of that. One of the biggest, quite honestly, is time. Leaders have to make time to mentor folks around them. I have never seen a better example of this than Reed Hastings, the up until five seconds ago was the CEO or co-CEO of Netflix. He just announced that he’s stepping down.

[23:08] Reed would spend time. I mean, he has – and I apologize, I won’t get the numbers right, somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 or 150 VPs across the company. Reed makes sure that he spends an hour talking individually to each of those vice presidents at least once a quarter, checking in with them and talking about culture, talking about values, talking about strategy and where they’re going. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, he has another 500 directors or so underneath those VPs. He spends a half an hour with each of them twice a year. I was blown away by this. I asked the folks at Netflix. How does he have time for this? The answer he gives is, “Look, if I spend time with that, if I spend time talking about culture and leadership with these folks, I don’t have to be in all these other meetings because I know who I can count on, that they’ll make great decisions without me in the room. I actually have plenty of time for it.” The biggest issue is time. There’s a conceptual barrier that we have to break through too.

Taylor Martin
[24:24] What is that conceptual barrier? What is it?

Dev Patnaik
[24:26] It’s the idea that there’s good people and bad people. There’s low performers and high performers. There’s people who get it and don’t get it. We’ve known for a while now that you need to have a growth mindset about talent, about people, and yet we continue to put people in boxes of good and bad. This is something that – you see it in our education system. My daughter is 15 now. Ten years ago, we were looking for a school to put her in here in the Bay Area. We just checked out a few private schools and they all told us the same answer. They said, “We only accept gifted children.” My immediate reaction was, “If you are so good, make my child gifted.” Isn’t that the point of a great education?
[25:15] You have to bring that same mindset to your team. You have to say like, what do I do to actually see that growth potential in all of these folks? Sure, time is a clear problem, but Reed Hastings seems to have figured that out. Maybe the rest of us can too. Even beyond that, it’s our own mindset about what people are capable of.

Taylor Martin
[25:38] I think that that’s great. I love the part about what people are capable of, because I agree with you about the time issue. We’ve mentioned that before on previous podcasts where time is the issue. The way I see it is we’re so inundated with so many responsibilities in our leadership title that they don’t really think about, A, mentoring, B, just connecting and resonating like, what’s going on in your world? What do you need to help with? What can I do for you? What can I help you with? That simple question or conversation is just bygones. It’s the old way of doing business that’s forgotten. It’s like a forgotten talent.

[26:13] It’s not a hard one. It’s just a great leader listens and talks, and has a two-way conversation with their people as opposed to a boss. I know you’ve probably seen that video that’s gone viral online where it’s all these coyotes and wolves around the water, and then there’s the boss drinking all the water. Then a liter goes over, opens a new hole in the water, and then all the other coyotes and wolves go over there and they drink from that, and everybody’s happy. That’s what I feel like the mentality is, is like a boss is just barking orders and a leader leads, shows people opportunities and new challenges that they can overcome. Speaking of time, what about attention? People with their attention, how does that work into a next-level leadership?

Dev Patnaik
[27:03] Yeah. Attention means that you’re actually not just putting in the minutes, but you’re actually bringing your presence there, and noticing, and seeing what’s happening. Too many of us are distracted. We’re multitasking. We’re spending time on five different things at the same time. Or even I’m talking to you, and even if I’m not checking my phone at the same time, am I actually paying attention to what you’re saying and noticing what’s happening, or am I caught up in my own brain? This is why it’s the rise of mindfulness as a counter-trend to all of the information overload we have. It’s a question of like, so which do you want to win? Do you want to live in a world that is dominated by life as TikTok scrolling, or life as be here right now? It is unclear which one’s going to win in our society.

Taylor Martin
[28:02] It is. Last year, I turned off all my notifications of everything, and I was blown away at how much time I got back, and just peace of mind. It was like a stressor that I didn’t know that was there was just gone. The days were easier. There was less stress. Like I said, it made me feel like I had more time. It goes back to what you said about so many things coming at us.

Dev Patnaik
[28:28] One of the key skills of a leader is rapid pattern identification. You’re not going to notice things. You’re not going to see those patterns if you’re not paying attention.

Taylor Martin
[28:40] I love that. That is so awesome. The fifth one that you mentioned is really near and dear to my heart because I feel like we’re failing in this so heavily, and that’s the future-focused aspect. When companies are coming to you and you get into this conversation, I feel like we are so shortsighted. Everything’s like, what are you going to do next quarter? Or what did you do this quarter? It’s quarter, quarter, quarter, and no long-term thinking. It’s like that rational thinking of long-term thinking is just, it’s gone, not present, not really functioning very well. How do you see it?

Dev Patnaik
[29:12] That’s absolutely true. When you look at every study as to why really great companies fail, over and over, the answer comes up. They miss the future. They’re doing a really great job on their current business, and they’re not paying attention to the business that’s right around the corner. Or they’re not paying attention to the big opportunity that is going to be there. Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, he talks about this all the time because he doesn’t want to miss the future. He needs to stay ahead of it. That is incredibly hard for a leader. Because if you’re truly being future-focused and you’re spending time on it, it’s going to feel horrible. It’s going to feel lousy.

[29:58] He talks about this. Larry would say like, “What is their core business? Their core business is advertising funded search.” He would spend every Friday afternoon. Let’s take it as 110th of his week. He’d spend every Friday afternoon hanging out with this little mobile operating system acquisition called Android that they had bought, and growing it. Larry talks about, he said, “I felt so guilty that I was spending my time on that. Should I be spending more time on search?” He’s like, “I’m so glad I did that, because it turns out that that mobile operating system was part of the future of Google.”

Taylor Martin
[30:46] Exactly.

Dev Patnaik
[30:47] It’s the thing where if you’re not feeling guilty about how much time you’re spending, thinking about the future, you’re probably not doing it enough.

Taylor Martin
[30:59] Nicely said. I often wonder about companies that are so shortsighted, or they’re not looking forward. They miss business segment opportunities. Something maybe not as big as a whole Android phone market, but even just smaller opportunities for growth.

Dev Patnaik
[31:15] Too many companies, they kill off things too early in their gestation period. They don’t let it grow. They don’t let it figure out. Jeff Bezos said this years ago. He said, “The biggest advantage that Amazon has is time because they give their teams 7 years to figure something out, while most people give 18 months tops.”

Taylor Martin
[31:38] Yeah, Amazon does a lot of very interesting things from the design and communications side with their online website that is – it’s all times associated. When they want to change something on the website, sometimes they’ll say, “Okay, to make this change, it’s going to be really hard for people.” They’ll do iterations to that change. If they’re going to move a button from here to here, it might be up at the top, and then they’ll be down in the middle, and then down closer to the bottom. Then they’ll be at the bottom over an eight-month window because they don’t want to lose anybody’s attention. They don’t want to rewrite the user experience.

Dev Patnaik
[32:13] Yeah, it is so hard. It breaks our brain. We’ve done some research on this at Jump. The neuroscience on it is frightening, which is that about 16% of us, 16% of human beings are truly future-focused. That when you talk about, here’s what the world’s going to look like in five years, and here’s what we need to do, and here is how – pick it. The ChatGPT or its successor or GPT-5 is going to disrupt our business. About 16% of human beings say, “Yeah, you’re right. We need to get going on it.” Another 14% are the other end of the bell curve. They’re the tail. They’re the past-focused people. They’re the ones who say, “You know what, Taylor, taxi cabs will never go away. Uber is just a blip, or, sure, Airbnb, but you know how many people stayed in a Marriott last night?” Because they’re going based on what they’ve experienced in their life in the past.

[33:12] Seventy percent of us, most of the people, the people in the center of the bell curve are present-focused. They’re the people who, when you show them that the world is going to change, they say, “You’re right, it’s going to change, but we need to focus on this quarter. We need to focus on right now.” That is the worst of all three options. If you think about with the past-focused people, at least you can disprove that. With the present-focused people, you’re talking like the future-focused people, but acting like the past-focused people. It’s like you’ve accepted the premise that the world is changing, but you’re driving over the cliff anyway. That’s not something that is just a habit. That is part of your brain’s wiring. Now, you can change it. Neuroplasticity is a beautiful thing. You can rewire your brain. Again, I believe in growth and the potential of people. You just got to start off recognizing and acknowledging that most of us are present-focused.

Taylor Martin
[34:12] Okay, you just brought the whole circle back to the beginning again. When we talk about these people that are present-focused, these are the people that I feel like this podcast is for. Even though they’re business leaders, or executives, or officers of companies, this podcast is for them to help them understand how purpose-driven companies is more than just a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s a way of doing business through and through. It is tested now that it is a business model of better success on all fronts.

Dev Patnaik
[34:46] That’s exactly right. The reality is we don’t have a choice in this. People aren’t just buying things anymore. They’re buying into things. That makes life incredibly hard for most companies. It’s a lot more difficult. We will spend time with the company and they’ll say, “We really want to identify our purpose, and we want to go forward.” We’ll tell them, look, first of all, are you just looking for something to put up on the wall, or are you truly looking to be purpose-driven? Because if it’s the former, then maybe we’re not the folks to work with you on this going down this journey. Then it’s going to be really hard. Are you sure you want to do this? Even if you’re successful, you will be pilloried. People will point out every moment of unintended hypocrisy where you didn’t live up to your own aspirations. That’s what you’re signing up for. Yet if you don’t do that, then it means that maybe what you spend all day doing in your job is maybe less compelling, and less enriching, and less meaningful even to yourself.

Taylor Martin
[36:02] Yeah, yourself, your employees, the people that use your product, the people that build or make your product. This just makes me feel like we’re getting to a point – we’re going to get to this point somewhere where either you are helping people plan it and profit, or you’re hurting them. Literally, when doing nothing can’t be hurting them. I feel like that needs to be addressed.

Dev Patnaik
[36:23] That’s exactly right. Now, to be fair, there’s a lot of problems in this world. Different organizations need to stand up and speak to their part of their problem. Jump is all about learning and growth. Patagonia is all about like, what are we doing to the environment? My dear friends at Target know. What they’re about is to help all families discover the joy of everyday life. There’s something in that. There are many, many things that we need to do to put our species on the right path. You don’t have to take it all on. You just have to take on the thing that is most compelling, and that you are most competent to do something about.

Taylor Martin
[37:08] I have to ask my magic wand question to you. This is a great last question. If you had a magic wand and you could just wave it across all the businesses across the world, what is the one thing you wish that they would start doing today?

Dev Patnaik
[37:20] Wow, that is a fantastic question. I think that this shift to where the work that we do matters, and has an impact, and has a change, is a natural human development. I would say that if I waved a magic wand, it would lack probably the most important thing in all of this, which is compassion. It would be looking and saying like, “I have a class of fourth graders. If I could wave a magic wand, would you turn them into sixth graders?” I’m like, “No, because they’re great as they are and they’re going to get there.”

Taylor Martin
[38:03] Yeah, right, good point. Good analogy.

Dev Patnaik
[38:05] Right. I don’t know. We’re just on this journey. The only thing I worry about is time. Will we develop? Will we get there faster than our problems overtake us?

Taylor Martin
[38:18] I feel the same.

Dev Patnaik
[38:19] Most problems in our society are human created. The invasion of Ukraine is a manmade problem, literally one manmade problem. Even the pandemic is a human created problem. Even if you don’t believe that – some people believe that COVID was made in a lab. Let’s even assume that it’s a natural occurring phenomenon. Sure, COVID is not human created, but the pandemic was human created, because the pandemic was about how we responded to it, and how we reacted, and what we did, and how we taught ourselves things.

Taylor Martin
[38:59] How can our listeners reach out to you and learn more about what you guys are doing?

Dev Patnaik
[39:04] There’s two things that I’d point out, which is if you’re interested in thinking about how to really become a purpose-driven companies, definitely check out jumpassociates.com. If you’re already part of this conversation, you really need to get involved in conscious capitalism. It’s an organization that I love. They have been thinking about what means to be a purpose-driven company since 2007, years before most of us thought about this as something that we should be focused on. Check out consciouscapitalism.org.

Taylor Martin
[39:38] I’ve read the book, the Conscious Capitalism, and it was great read. I loved every minute of it. It was really, really well done. Dev, thank you so much for being on the show today. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. I could literally talk about this for hours as you know. Again, thank you for being on the show today.

Dev Patnaik
[39:53] Thanks, Taylor. It was my pleasure.

Taylor Martin
[39:54] Awesome. Over and out, everybody.

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[39:57] Thanks for tuning into the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is Founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewed on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple podcasts or whatever provider you’re logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line.