Dozens of Spanish companies took part in the symposium “Transforming the business world through purpose,” with more than 40 speakers who shared their business experiences and agreed on the need for companies to commit to happiness, and not profit, as their final objective
The classic 20th century paradigm of looking at business from a practical point of view is out of date. Organisations no longer look only at shareholders, but also talk about stakeholders, and the ultimate goal of companies is not to make money, but create happiness, putting people at the centre of the organization. The business world is changing, and corporate purpose is part of the change. After the participation of more than 40 speakers, this is one of the main conclusions of the 8th “Companies with a Human Side” Symposium that took place last Friday 22 April 2022, at UIC Barcelona. The conference was organised by the Chair for Management by Missions and Corporate Purpose and the DPMC Foundation.
In this eighth edition of the event, titled “Transforming the business world through purpose,” dozens of companies shared their thoughts on the idea of corporate purpose, how to effectively implement it in their organisations through management by missions, and they debated whether the idea was just a fashionable trend.
Speakers such as Joan Fontrodona and Govert Vroom of IESE; Maria Fernández Capo of UIC Barcelona or Charles Wookey, of Blueprint for Business, stressed the idea that there is a real need in the corporate world for purpose that prioritises the human side of business, making it the ultimate goal of the company. “We need the goal to be a win-win situation, meeting the needs and expectations of society, and a moral obligation of managers and the company,” pointed out IESE’s Govert Vroom in his speech. “Anyone who has not been reflecting on purpose until now, or has simply assumed that the goal was only to make money, needs to change and begin to understand the role of a company in a different way,” explained Carlos Rey of DPMC.
Throughout the event, the speakers emphasised the importance of putting people at the centre of business, even arguing that only those companies that have a positive impact on society should make a profit. Continuing on this line, the creation of value for stakeholders was also discussed as an intangible element that is forcing companies to quickly transform themselves, as the ability to differentiate themselves is under threat in today’s market.
The symposium ended with the presentation of Pablo Cardona of UNIR, who shared his vision of leadership in the digital age with attendees and spoke about the changes that are taking place in the way companies are run today, with the participation of Imad Younis from Alpha Omega and Jordi Bolea from Teknics, the two companies sponsoring the event.