Book Review: The Purpose Project (a handbook for bringing meaning to life at work) by Carolyn Tate


Published by Carolyn Tate & Co Pty Ltd | Copyright 2017

Author: Evelyn Neis

Conscious Capitalism is a philosophy about capitalism that reflects the potential of businesses to make a positive impact on the world.  They do this through cultivating four tenets within their businesses: Higher Purpose, Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership, and Conscious Culture.  Carolyn Tate is a founding member of Conscious Capitalism Australia.

Conscious Capitalism believes every business should have a purpose that goes hand-in-hand with making a profit.  That purpose should energize and inspire everyone surrounding the organization, from the CEO to external vendors and the community.  Carolyn Tate has written a book that provides a roadmap to use in order to discover your business’s a higher purpose and it can be used to discover your personal higher purpose as well.  “Whether you’re an employee, business owner or student, this book will help you turn your dreaming into doing through adopting your own Purpose Project.”  The Purpose Project is not only informative; it is also inspiring and practical.

Carolyn states in her writings that after WWII, our economic system seemed to be based on consumers and workers.  “The more we consumed, the more we needed to earn and the more we needed to work. Having stuff and having more, became our default measure of success.  The measure of a country’s well-being became all about Gross Domestic Product, not about the health and happiness of the nation’s people. Money and material possessions became the meaning of life in the industrial era and we were all just so busy consuming and working that we didn’t stop to think about what would really bring us joy and fulfill our potential.”  This model worked well for awhile.

The old capitalist concepts are no longer working. Per Ms. Tate, companies are spending on technology in order to remain relevant and competitive.  Emerging companies are being built on technological foundations. This will exacerbate the flaws in the old capitalist models: 1st – we continue to build products that harm humanity and the environment instead of using technology to solve world problems.  2nd – by using technology to extract wealth from the majority to benefit the few, instead of sharing wealth equitably so that everyone prospers.

“The moral and ethical conundrum leaders face right now is how to divert their technological endeavors towards balancing the imperative of profit with a higher purpose and thereby ultimately contributing to the reparation of capitalism.”….”Combine a higher purpose with technology and we have a potential to radically heal humanity and the planet.”

Creating a company purpose is more than creating a marketing plan or public relations program.  Think of a higher purpose more like a reason for being, your why, achieving your highest potential.  This book will guide you in understanding the concept of a higher purpose and provides exercises that will assist you in creating your business and personal higher purpose.

Business leaders are aware of their competition.   When an organization has a higher purpose that is articulated well and understood by its stakeholders they will have a greater chance of becoming better than their competition.  Employee turnover will most likely be reduced. Your organization will attract and keep the best people. Your customers will be more loyal because they have been taken care of by the best providers.  Finding the best way to articulate and enact the higher purpose of an enterprise requires engagement by and from all levels within the organization — executives, managers, line leaders, and team members.  Everyone is important to the success of a business ecosystem.

A solid business plan will be greatly enhanced by also have a solid higher purpose.  The “why” of your business. This book represents a “how-to manual” to successfully find your higher purpose and “how-to” maintain and regularly check the achievement and success of your endeavors at all levels of the operation.

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