How corporate purpose is foundational to business innovation and success

 

What you'll learn on this podcast episode

As the business world makes an overdue shift from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism, is it possible that we will see an erosion of innovation? How does a company’s purpose impact its success? In this episode of the Principled Podcast, LRN Chief Advisory Officer Ty Francis MBE talks about how corporate purpose and stakeholder capitalism fuel innovation with Mark R. Hatch, CEO of clean energy startup SiLi-ion, Inc., an instigator of the maker movement with the founding of TechShop, author of The Maker Movement Manifesto and The Maker Revolution, and researcher on the influence of “organizational purpose” on innovation and business transformation at Pepperdine University. Mark has dedicated his career to educating the business community on innovation and advanced manufacturing and has spoken at the White House on these topics. Listen in as the two discuss what it means to help people—and companies—around the world do the right thing. 

Principled Podcast shownotes

  • [1:35] - Mark walks us through his professional career journey.  
  • [4:52] - How Mark’s success paradigm has shifted for him now.  
  • [6:11] - Mark’s definition and work surrounding organizational purpose.  
  • [10:50] - A brief history of corporations.  
  • [14:13] - Does ethical culture and organizational purpose propel success?  
  • [16:55] - How to operationalize purpose?  
  • [18:37] - What does this mean for the future of business?  
  • [24:12] - Measuring purpose.  
  • [25:40] -  How European companies are using this corporate purpose vehicle compared to the U.S. 

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Guest: Mark Hatch

Principled_Podcast_S7_E13_Mark_Hatch_Guest

Mark R. Hatch is an advanced manufacturing entrepreneur, writer, and sought-after speaker and advisor on innovation, the maker movement, digital strategy, and advanced manufacturing. He has held executive positions for innovation, disruptive technology, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship in various industry sectors.  

Mark is the CEO of clean energy startup SiLi-ion, Inc. and an advisor to Studio MFG, an advanced spatial-web innovation consulting and manufacturing design firm. Mark has dedicated his career to educating the business community on innovation and advanced manufacturing and has spoken about these topics to various audiences—including the White House, TEDx, Global Fortune 500 firms, and Harvard University. He has appeared on prominent media outlets such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and Fox, and has been quoted in Bloomberg Business, FastCompany, Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle among other publications. 

An avid researcher on the influence of “organizational purpose” on innovation and business transformation, Mark is working on his DBA at Pepperdine University and is a faculty member for digital innovation and strategy at Pepperdine's Graziado School of Business. He is also an entrepreneur in residence at UC Berkeley. Mark holds an MBA from the Drucker Center at Claremont Graduate University and a BA in economics from UCI. 

Host: Ty Francis

Principled_Podcast_S7_E13_Ty_Francis_Host

Ty Francis MBE, CCEP, DBus (Hon) is an award winning Welsh-American business development executive and corporate governance innovator, with extensive experience in evaluating ethics, compliance and values based programs. Ty is currently Chief Advisory Officer and a member of the executive team at LRN Corporation, a global leader in ethics and compliance.

Ty operates a global network of C-level and Board relationships across multiple markets, utilizing his knowledge of culture, ethics, environmental social & governance (ESG), UK/US trade & investment and international relations. Ty has been quoted in numerous media including Forbes, Law360, SCCE, and C-Suite Magazine. Launched governance, ethics and compliance educational programs in France, Japan, Singapore, the UAE, UK and the USA. Launched Ethisphere's Gender Diversity Initiative at NASDAQ to highlight thought leadership, key metrics and global trends in gender diversity and inclusion.

Appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours List for services to business. Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Business by Southampton Solent University for outstanding contribution in the field of corporate governance, ethics, and international trade.

Ty studied corporate governance at Stanford Law Schools Rock Centre; Diversity & Inclusion for Organizational Excellence at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business; Executive Leadership at Yale University and Oxford University’s Said Business School; and International Relations & Global Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Ty is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP).

 

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What you'll learn on this podcast episode

Intro: Welcome to the Principled Podcast brought to you by LRN. The Principled Podcast brings together the collective wisdom on ethics, business and compliance, transformative stories of leadership, and inspiring workplace culture. Listen in to discover valuable strategies from our community of business leaders and workplace change-makers.

Ty Francis: As the business world makes an overdue shift from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism, is it possible that we'll see an erosion of innovation? How does a company's purpose impact its success? 

Hello, and welcome to another episode of LRN's Principled Podcast. I'm your host, Ty Francis, Chief Advisory Officer LRN. Today I'm joined by Mark Hatch, an accomplished entrepreneur, advanced manufacturing expert, and sought after speaker on topics of innovation, disruptive technology, and the future of work. Mark holds an MBA from the Drucker Center at Claremont Graduate University. And is presently pursuing a DBA, a doctor of business administration, from Pepperdine University. 

We are going to be talking today about corporate purpose, stakeholder capitalism, and what it means to help people, and companies around the world do the right thing. After several successful decades in business, Mark is now researching the influence of organizational purpose on innovation and business transformation at Pepperdine, while simultaneously serving as CEO of the clean energy startup, SiLi-ion, amongst other things. Mark Hatch, thanks for joining me on the Principled Podcast. 

Mark Hatch: Thank you very much, Ty. It's great to be here. 

Ty Francis: Okay so, for those of us saying to ourselves, "Where have I heard this name before," please tell us a little bit about your professional history. 

Now, we know you as the founder of TechShop, and an instigator in the maker movement. What else? Oh, yes, you've spoken at White House about advanced manufacturing, and at the Clinton Global Initiative, something my wife [inaudible 00:01:58] was actually involved in during her time at Swiss Re. 

Mark Hatch: Oh, how fun. 

Ty Francis: Yeah, she was at Swiss Re for about 10 years and worked very closely with President Clinton. So, that's a name, it's all too familiar in my household. But I also know you're involved in the Singularity University, which sounds very Star Trekky, which is an interesting side note, especially since we're talking about purpose today. 

So, I've given an overview, but can you give us a little bit more about your backstory Mark? 

Mark Hatch: Oh, hit a couple high points. I'm a former green beret, so I was in the army for three years coming out of high school, which was quite entertaining. And then, I started my first company, an interactive multimedia company back in '80s. One of the things I've discovered that I'm really good at is jumping into something way too early. And then, getting beaten up for years and years until it becomes the obvious next thing. 

The interesting thing about that interactive media though, was that John McAfee of McAfee Antivirus was one of my first investors. I actually got to know John before he became infamous, I guess. I spent a little bit of time at Avery Dennison, a big package goods company. A little bit of time at Kinkos, where I launched the e-commerce portion for Kinkos. And pulled T1 lines around the United States to wire them all up. Spent a little bit of time doing a health benefits ASP and so forth. But most people, if they know who I am at all, is from the maker movement days wrote a couple books in it, and spent a lot of time traipsing around the globe trying to get people to make things again. 

Ty Francis: Well, I want to touch a couple of those things. So now, you aren't the average professor, as we've just heard, because you've got some real bites to your bark. Within what you just told me, I did read that you raised over $20 million and turned TechShop into that leading brand in the maker movement, growing it from 1 to 12 locations. And more impressively membership and revenue 20X in five years. I got that right, 20X? 

Mark Hatch: 20, yeah. As long as you start from a very small base, it's really easy to hit those high numbers. 

Ty Francis: I think you and I have got a different definition of the word easy. If that wasn't impressive enough, you also grew that $200 million business at Kinkos by 18%. But I think more impressive than that, and someone who runs a P and L you cut costs by 15 million in a single year. 

Mark Hatch: In a single year, yeah. 

Ty Francis: That is both impressive. And I get, your students get a kick out of all that experience. We had a pre-conversation before. And I mentioned that I'm lucky enough to know Sir Richard Branson. And he told me years ago how he went into a bookshop, and pulled a bunch of books off the library that were about business. I think the first 20 he counted, none of the authors had actually been in business, or run a business, and were anecdotal at best. 

Looking at what you've done and what you've succeeded, how has that happened? And how has that paradigm shifted to you now? 

Mark Hatch: One, I do actually tend to live in the future. It's a bad habit. I've got a very, very clear view of what I believe is going to happen. And I clearly did not take my desert training in the Special Forces very well, where they beat into your head, never mistake a clear view for a short distance. It will kill you. 

So, I saw interactive multimedia early. I saw dot com early. I've seen many of these things. What I managed to do with TechShop was raise funds, and grow the base quickly enough so that we actually survive for a solid 10 years. 

But what I do is innovation. My entire career has been on the edge between in a research and development, or the most recent trends, and then commercializing them, turning them into something that a consumer can understand, and acquire. 

Ty Francis: So, I am seeing a Star Trek theme in all of this, by the way. Seeing into the future. A Q-esque type person here. But this is fascinating. And you, obviously, have an incredible foundation [inaudible 00:06:08] what you are doing, looking at the past, predicting the future. But I do want to tap more into the research you're doing at Pepperdine. And as part of your DBA, again, I'm looking at this and I have an honorary doctorate, and I feel very, very small right now. 

Mark Hatch: Congratulations. That's quite impressive actually. 

Ty Francis: Yeah, but apparently when the air cabin crew asks if there's a doctor on the plane, I'm not allowed to raise my hand. When they say, "What can you help this person with?" I can say, "Well, I've got an interesting anecdote about business." 

So the DBA you're pursuing right now, I mean, I particularly admire the notion of going back to school for an advanced degree. I've had a limited amount of business success. And during the lockdown, I took three courses, one at a side business university at Oxford, one at Stanford, and one at the London School of Economics. The recurring theme through all of those courses... One was executive leadership. One was DEI and leveraging business through it. And the other was international relations and global politics. Organizational purpose was a common theme through all of those postgraduate and diplomas. And it was fascinating how that was a theme, and linking back into business. 

So, I want you to talk about your work on organizational purpose. But first of all, can you give me, or us a definition of your definition of organizational purpose? 

Mark Hatch: There are like three versions of what purpose means. But to get a little bit technical, the short version is really simple. Like the single word, the single concept is why a corporation exists. That's what purpose means, why? 

Now, usually, when you use the term, what is your corporate purpose? You're not thinking of the single thing that the word means. You're thinking of a corporate purpose statement, or a development of a series of concepts. Or, as they say in business speak, it's a construct. So, I have adopted George et al's from 2021, which is interesting. Most of this good work has happened just in the last few years. So, purpose in the for profit context captures the essence of an organization's existence by explaining what value it seeks to create for its stakeholders. So, you're creating value. 

But then he goes on and defines it a little bit more, which I like. "In doing so purpose provides a clear definition of firm's intent, creates the ability for the stakeholders to identify with and be inspired by the firm's mission, vision, and values, and establishes actionable pathways, and an inspirational outcome for the firm." Sorry, that's very technical, but that's the best broad version that includes mission, vision, and values, which people tend to associate with purpose when you ask them what a corporate purpose is. 

But let me back up a little bit. So, the reason I got intrigued with this was, well first of all, I'm very purpose driven personally. I was, usually, involved with technologies that I found intriguing, and could improve humanity in some way. But my experience at TechShop was at a completely different level. People were joining because of the purpose of this idea that we could remake our lives by going to a shop that had, basically, democratized access to the tools of the industrial revolution. We were giving the average Joe access to tools that they had never had access to, unless they were 80 years old, had come up at three machine shop or something. But we were giving them laser cutters, and 3D printers, and so forth. 

And I personally got a level of satisfaction out of that. And I got my staff members to perform at levels I had never seen before. We had members that are evangelists. I mean, it seemed like sometimes they would go out on the street and tell people, "Have you heard of this place? You've got to come in." We had this one member, he quit his job. And he didn't have a great job to begin with, but he quit his job as a night watchman, came up and couch surfed. Like that was a thing for a while, couchsurfing.com where you could go and spend the night at somebody's house randomly. This was well before hotel folks came along. He would evangelize each couch that he slept on became a member, like not the couch, the people. Every place that he went, we got new members. And we thought about maybe paying him just to hang around, and sleep on a new couch every night because he was our best attractor. 

And so, this got me really interested in this concept of what is your corporate purpose? And how does it play out and impact the organization at large? 

Ty Francis: I think the biggest question that we have, and I have is when people are talking about this concept, how organizations are dealing with this, how are you articulating this to companies, to brands, to leaders, and how to actually put this into practice? Because many of the conversations I have with boards, with GCs, with anyone, they understand the problem. They see what's happening. They read and they see blogs, and they have conversations with the fellow board members. But it's actually the tangibility of creating a strategy that puts this into place. And something they can follow. 

I guess what's the sticky sauce? What's the magic wand that you throw over your clients, your peers on how do I actually put this into play? 

Mark Hatch: So the research that I'm doing specifically came out of kind of the question, how do I deal with the naysayers? How do I convince a board, or a C-suite folks that are like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, whatever, whatever. I've got my ESG guy and they're going to keep me between the lanes, and everything's going to be fine." I started down this path as like, what do we actually know about corporate purpose? Where did it spring from? Actually, I go all the way back. What's the original concept of a corporation? Where did that come from? And it goes all the way back. It's crazy. It goes all the way back to pre-Babylonian times. And I won't bore you with all of that, but it turns out you couldn't have a corporation without having a purpose of some kind. It wasn't allowed. The state would not allow it. The king would not allow it. 

I've got a great quote out of the Law of Corporations 1702, "The sole purpose of a corporation is to improve the society and support the king." Full stop. You can't say, "Okay, I'm here to do like, blah, blah, blah. And I'm going to make this." No, no, no, no. How are you going to help your customers? How are you going to improve society? And how are you going to support the king? And if you don't have an answer to that, I'm sorry, not only will I not give you corporation, if I happen to have given you one, and you have strayed too far, I will shut you down. And this was actually the norm up to about 1880 globally. 

And there's this great quote. It was Massachusetts Bay Company and they charged this poor sod 200 pounds for overcharging his customer. And then, on Sunday morning, the preacher got engaged talking about the egregious greed, and what can happen. And it was simply against the law. And then, things changed with the 14th amendment, some other bizarre things. But we've had this like weird era, and that's how I would describe it, between 1886 to about 1950, we were set loose. You didn't have to have a purpose at all. You actually didn't need any purpose at all. You could just go down to Delaware and say, "I want to set up a company." And they go, "Great." They still would ask, what are you going to do? And so, in your mind, you had to at least have a customer, or somebody you were going to steal money from. You had to have some idea. So even today in your charters, you have to say, "Okay, I'm going to be in this industry segment," which by the way, you just send them a note and that can change. 

But about around 1950, that started to shift. So, that was a long winded way of saying, so how do we deal with these guys? And what I wanted to do, and what I'm doing is I'm a practical guy, I'm a practitioner. I don't want to sell them something that doesn't work. What does that mean for your purpose? And so, I'm really intrigued with this idea of empirically based management tools. How do you know something works? Not one of those 19 books that Sir Branson was talking about, but the one that comes out of the trenches. 

So, I've gone back and I've done a fairly significant review of all of the literature on corporate purpose. What's actually known from a theoretical perspective from doing interviews, which I don't put a lot of weight into because you get what you want out of your interviews. But actual empirical work that's been done in this space. And it turns out those corporations that do have a purpose that's more than simply serving customers, they have substantially superior financial returns. And actually, I think your firm is an example that promulgates that point of view based on research you guys have done in the past. 

Ty Francis: Our tagline is, principle performance. And I'll add that some research we did last year echoes most of what you're saying. I mean, all of what you're saying. My own advisory team released a report alongside our marketing team. And we called it our LRN Benchmark of Ethical Culture, which is a multi-year, it's a collaborative research effort, which draws data from nearly 8,000 employees, 17 industries, 14 countries. And that study conclusively proves that ethical cultures don't just protect corporate reputations, but they propel the bottom line. Companies with the strongest ethical cultures, strongly outperform by approximately 40% those with weakest ethical cultures. And that was across all measures of business performance, customer satisfaction. You talked about employee loyalty, innovation, adaptability, and growth. 

It's very simple, and you can make a lot of links to this. But if you keep people happy, if people believe in what you are doing, they will stay. If they stay, they will not leave. If they will not leave, they will not take IP with them. They will not go somewhere else. So, all that money you've invested in hiring them, training them, making them better people they will not take that somewhere else. 

Mark Hatch: Yeah, your brand positioning, your ability to [inaudible 00:16:32]. The theory is actually pretty well illuminated. Actually, the step that I'm taking... I think we have, in fact, proven that having a higher purpose can, or will result in superior financial success. So, there's my answer to the naysayers. This is really simple besides being the right thing to do, and to feel good about yourself, and your company when you go home at night, and you talk to your kids about what you're doing, your returns are higher. 

But the next question that I asked is, okay, show me how? Just throwing a purpose together and announcing it from the mountaintop is not the right answer. Now, we are getting results, so kudos to the companies that are executing. But I'm trying to answer the question, okay, how do you operationalize a superior purpose? What are the actual specific financial drivers that create superior firm performance? 

Innovation, and then specifically radical innovation is historically the largest way that firms create superior returns by far. There are other ways of doing it: brand, financial management, operations, Six Sigma, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But the number one way of improving your financial performance is actually to do innovation. And then radical innovation in particular. That's my little chunk that I'm chewing on is can I show that firms with a higher aspirational purpose actually get superior innovation returns and superior radical innovation returns? 

And the quantitative numbers have come in. I'm now working on writing it up. And it's clear like it's 0.0001 chance that it's false. In fact, a higher purpose does drive radical innovation in a very significant way. It explains 30% of the variance of that. And like 35 to 37% of all variance in your innovation. It's huge. So, my answer is, okay, install, purpose, and innovate. Point this amazing effort that you've created, point this missile down the range at radical innovation because you're going to get an enormous return out of it. 

Ty Francis: You've actually answered the next question I was going to ask about, what this means for the future of business, and what is your vision for how company leaders can apply these insights? As you said, it's not enough for somebody to read in a book about what's happening. It's how they can relate that and put that into practice to change the dynamic of their own companies. 

We're not just talking about this. Investors are asking companies point blank, define your purpose. What are you doing to make the world around you better? Larry Fingers, writing to CEOs every single year. In the UK, the banking industry are asking, "Yes, we get it. You're raising capital for people, but what else are you doing?" It's a little bit, what have you done for me lately kind of thing. 

Mark Hatch: We've come full circle now. In 1886, we decided, okay, you don't have to have a purpose. But now, we are rewriting the laws. The SEC in the US, the UK, as you mentioned, the French have done it. The Italians have done it. The Germans did it ages ago. But there's an enormous amount of pressure now on corporations to be able to explicitly measure what their social good is. They don't necessarily call it your purpose, but that's what they're getting at. 

When I came at this, of course, I have the context of working at Singularity University as a speaker. And I know, I know a friend of mine is Salim Ismail, who's driving this whole exponential organization's effort globally. And, in it, he said, sidebar conversation. "So Mark, I've tried to do these exponential innovation efforts without a massively transformative purpose at the beginning of the effort because the corporation was like, 'Yeah, you're making me feel kind of weird about this idea of changing the world and all that. We're an X company, let's just do the execution part and skip the massively transformative purpose part.'" And he said, "Every single time we did that, it failed. Every single time. We got nominal innovation out of it." 

And it actually makes sense when you think about the internal resistance of individuals in their risk profiles. Typically, you go to work and you want to have things normal. And then, what's going to happen all day long, and you're competent and so forth. But when you start doing innovation and, particularly radical innovation, you don't know what tomorrow looks like. You don't understand who your customer is. You don't know what the value is per se. And you're thrown in the deep end and you got to figure it out. Now, it's not quite that bad, but it is substantially different than your day-to-day. And it's hard. Doing radical innovation is the hardest part of being in business because you don't know how it's going to come out. 

That as a background, is like, "Oh my goodness, you're kidding me. You just told me that one of the keys to being able to execute this isn't actually reaching for the stars." It's not like, can we get a 15% increase in this? Or can we cut costs by 10% or 5%? It's can you cut cost by 50%? Can we double our market share? Can we open up an entirely new market segment? Just saying those words creates a new tension in somebody's head. You bring them in and say, "Okay, we're going to get 10% here, and 15% there." And everybody goes, "Oh cool, I don't have to change anything. I can go back to my desk and keep stamping those pieces of paper. And I'm good." You come in and say, "I want a 50% increase. And I need a 30% reduction over here," actually you've lost the audience because for the next five minutes, all they're going to be wondering is whether or not they have a job. Am I qualified to do this? That's what got me going. 

And we live in the most exciting time in all of human history. We've got more technologies coming on stream in amazing and radical ways, and how they're interacting with one another is absolutely stunning. So, this is the best time in all of human history to do radical innovation. This is the best time to go after actually deep purposes. And I feel sorry for these corporations who are going, "Okay, let's try to get a 12% bump over the next two years." They're doomed. In my mind it's like, forget it. You and I and others in this world are going to teach the executive suite that radical innovation is possible, it will drive the bottom line, make them feel better and will, in fact, change the world. And I'm proving it empirically. That's kind of what I'm excited about. 

Ty Francis: It reminds me of a quote that was a famous NFL coach. And I can't remember it now and I'll come back to you by the end of the podcast. But it was about reaching for perfection that you'll never attain it. But on the way down, you will hit excellence. And I think this is an area why people aren't reaching for the stars is surprising because it's that competitive advantage. When we talk about how this is a competitive advantage, not just on a social scale, but on a business scale, we've been talking to board directors. We had a collaboration with a group called Tapestry Networks. We spoke to 40 directors of publicly traded companies, I mean 40, 50 companies. And they represented about 70 or 80 different companies across their different board positions. 

We did this specifically to talk about purpose and culture. We released the findings in a report called Activating Culture and Ethics for Boards late last year. And the results, albeit mostly predictable, the boards want to put culture at the top of their priority list, but they still don't fully understand how to measure it. The refreshing part was that they see that the paradigm shifted from board members having a nose in, fingers out ability to more having nose and fingers in because they are starting to see this as a competitive benefit to having both strategy and culture and purpose aligned. And with that, I think they're seeing they have a better understanding of what corporate purpose should be. I think we're trying to see a tangible move in the... I'm using quotation marks here, a "tone from the top" conversation on how boards are impacting priorities, and are influencing culture. 

So, how does that help your research for what you are doing now for the future of work? 

Mark Hatch: You've done the surveys, you know what the answers are. But what I'm trying to do is start a small renaissance around, prove it to me. What are the actual ways that you operationalize it? It's like, okay, employee retention. Okay, measure employee retention. But don't just measure employee retention, invest in your employees. If you know that they're going to hang around longer, don't just sit on your hands, and say, "Oh cool, they're going to be here longer. Woo hoo." No, no, no. What that means is you can't actually invest in them in ways that your competitors can't. 

That's operationalizing this idea of this competitive advantage, invest in your customers, invest in your brand. What are you doing specifically to drive your brand in relations in a deeper way? You've created this competitive advantage. You've got this great purpose now sitting on the shelf. Great. How are you going to operationalize it? And can we measure it? That's my point. It's can we actually measure it and see what the returns are? 

Ty Francis: The measurement, that's the trick. Everyone knows what they should be doing, but they don't know how they should be doing it. 

Mark Hatch: And if you don't measure it, then you don't care about it. 

Ty Francis: Wasn't that the famous misquote from Peter Drucker what you can't manage, you can measure, or the other way around? 

Mark Hatch: Right. 

Ty Francis: So we've been talking a lot about boards and purpose, but we know the SEC, and we're talking about the US. Obviously, although I'm American, I'm also Welsh. So, I'm curious if your research extends to Europe, or other regions. I mean, is this universal? Or is it just stage one USA, stage two [inaudible 00:25:55]? 

Mark Hatch: It does work at least in the UK. So, I chose my sample's 50/50, US/UK. 50/50, male/female. Native English speakers, try to control for some other variables. This is clearly true in the UK and the US. My suspicion, obviously, is that it's true in a lot of other parts of the world as well. 

Other research suggests that it is at least pan-European. Gartenberg's work and others. Gartenberg did some quantitative research that had 500,000 companies in it from around the globe. And they were able to show empirically that purpose does, in fact, drive superior financial returns, similar to what your research did. 

Ty Francis: When you're talking about this corporate purpose, I've noticed working in the States for a long time, that there is in the States and, to a certain extent, in the UK as well, there's a shareholder driven purpose kind of alignment where there's in broader Europe, France, and Germany, and Italy there's more of a stakeholder driven perception. So, there you see in Germany where you've got the different kind of board levels, and with the very straight labor laws in France, you are seeing that connection between leadership, and the employee base having to be aligned because they've got no choice because if they don't like what their companies are doing, they can change it, and quite dramatically. So, that would be interesting to see how that dynamic between the UK and the US, but then certainly further afield of that, how the European companies and organizations are actually using this corporate purpose vehicle to their competitive advantage. 

Mark Hatch: Right. One might hypothesize that corporate purpose, that's a fundamental driver. But how you operationalize it may vary from region to region. Maybe brand is a better tool than radical innovation. Maybe employee retention is a better one. I'm not sure. 

I doubt it, frankly. I think innovation is one of the fundamental things that you do as a business. Drucker would say, you're not even an entrepreneur, if you're not doing innovation. You can call yourself a businessman, but you're not an entrepreneur. And so, I suspect that innovation. And then as we're moving, again, the opportunity set available now to innovate is phenomenal. Radical innovation, it should be a fundamental strategy for any business that's trying to drive purpose into their organization, and with their stakeholders.  

Ty Francis: Well, before we sign off, and before I get a raft of my very angry American listeners asking why this British guy is talking about American football? It was Vince Lombardi, [inaudible 00:28:28]. And his quote was, and I'll see if I can get this right, "Perfection's not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." 

Mark Hatch: Yeah. 

Ty Francis: So Mark Hatch, this has been a fascinating conversation and one that we have merely pricked the surface of. And I'd like to have you back to talk a little bit more definitively, especially when the research is done, to look at those results. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me today and us on this episode. 

My name is Ty Francis. I want to thank you all for listening to the Principled Podcast by LRM. If you have enjoyed the conversation today, please do give us a top rating on your favorite podcast app. Goodbye for now.

Outro: We hope you enjoyed this episode. The Principled Podcast is brought to you by LRN. At LRN, our mission is to inspire principled performance in Global Organizations, by helping them foster winning ethical cultures rooted in sustainable values. Please visit us @lrn.com to learn more. And if you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen. And don't forget to leave us a review.