Capitalism remains the most proficient wealth creation machine we have ever known. Lately, however, we have been shaken by capitalism’s propensity for wild hubris and excesses – fees for no service by banks, widening gulf between the median pay of CEOs to workers, deficits in governance, sexual harassment scandals to name a few. It appears while the cake has grown, fewer and fewer people are eating it. Many people feel frustrated that economic gains have failed to improve their lives, address social problems, support political stability, or mitigate technology’s unintended consequences.

The rising tides of discontent is leading to a profound shift facing business leaders: the rapid rise of social enterprise [1]. An enterprise whose success is measured, both in terms of growing economic results (profit) and improving social capital (benefit to communities in which it operates in).

In this emerging ‘Social era’, the future of organisational success is predicated on the increasing importance of the need to stand for something, an organisation’s clear reason for being, it’s purpose. If purpose is clear, then it will help people and communities to build affinity to your brand, amplifying profits for the organisation and creating value to society.

The purpose will become the lens through which trusted relationships are built and sustained in the long term.