There’s a new scourge harming jobs and business. It’s a form of addiction. Not Opium addiction, but OPM addiction. An addiction in some boardrooms and executive suites to making delusional claims about how a company is solving the world’s problems, funded by Other People’s Money (OPM).
Basically, a mix of increasingly dull, unimaginative companies who have a thinly veiled sheen of social engagement through bland brand purpose. Instead of seeing and promoting the value they add through their products, their people and their innovation, they seek to borrow interest in issues of little or no relevance of consequence.
Brandstanding is a disgrace and an utter waste of shareholder money. If executives wish to “do good” – which is an excellent and necessary undertaking on an individual level – they should publish their charitable time/donations on their own coin rather than the efforts they front and claim using other people’s money.
Given much of the Western world is experiencing a boom of unprecedented wealth, profitability, success and quantitative easing, too many management teams have coasted along by building the future of their businesses on two largely unimaginative undertakings: 1. Cost-cutting, and 2. Brandstanding.
What’s worse is a generation of incompetent marketing and communications people who – without any evidence whatsoever to support their claims – base their marketing efforts and shareholder money on empty and destructive claims: “Millenials will not buy from companies unless they have a purpose!”. And complicit CEOs who nod obliquely and approve of that direction.
I’d suggest they focus on more constructive things: Making money through innovative business practices that delight their customers, increase profits and increase wellbeing as a welcome by-product. Creating significant value through new ways of working, new ways to add value, new ways to satisfy their customer, staff and stakeholders and charge handsomely for it.
Not listening to the internet busy-bodies on Twitter who are disconnected from reality and have no imagination.