The Purpose Revolution

How Leaders Create Engagement and Competitive Advantage in an Age of Social Good

John Izzo (Author) | Jeff Vanderwielen (Author)

Publication date: 03/13/2018

The Purpose Revolution
Discover the Purpose Advantage!

Customers, employees, and investors are no longer satisfied with companies providing good products, good prospects, and good profits—they want them to do some social good, too. These “purpose-driven” companies do better on nearly every traditional metric: greater customer loyalty, higher retention, more innovation, and a healthier bottom line. But a nice mission statement and donations to charity won't make your company stand out. Using scores of real-world examples and practical exercises, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen help leaders find a truly authentic purpose, one that is a natural fit for them and their organization. They describe concrete actions leaders can take to ensure that employees own it, customers and recruits connect with it, and every corporate action and activity reflects it.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt


(member price: $17.96)
Free shipping on all orders from the BK Publishers store.
Or find a local bookseller with Indiebound.

Other Available Formats and Editions


(member price: $13.97)


(member price: $13.97)
Bulk Discounts
Rights Information

Featured Books

More About This Product


Discover the Purpose Advantage!

Customers, employees, and investors are no longer satisfied with companies providing good products, good prospects, and good profits—they want them to do some social good, too. These “purpose-driven” companies do better on nearly every traditional metric: greater customer loyalty, higher retention, more innovation, and a healthier bottom line. But a nice mission statement and donations to charity won't make your company stand out. Using scores of real-world examples and practical exercises, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen help leaders find a truly authentic purpose, one that is a natural fit for them and their organization. They describe concrete actions leaders can take to ensure that employees own it, customers and recruits connect with it, and every corporate action and activity reflects it.

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Authors

Visit Author Page - John Izzo

John Izzo is one of North America's most prominent voices on finding more purpose in life and work. He has devoted the past 25 years of his life and career to facilitating deeper conversations about values. work, life, leadership and success. He has worked with thousands of leaders, professionals and front-line colleagues to foster workplaces of excellence, purpose, learning and renewal. His clients have ranged from high tech to high touch, hotels to hospitals, and from government agencies to entrepreneurial start-ups. Drawing on his early work in ministry and thousands of programs on creating ""Spirited Workplaces,"" Izzo challenges people to strive to live their values, connect with each other and to humbly balance achievement with fulfillment.

Izzo is the author of several books, including the bestselling Awakening Corporate Soul, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, and Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything.

He has served on the faculties of The University of California -San Diego, and Kent State University.

Visit the John Izzo and and Stepping Up for Change websites.

Visit Author Page - Jeff Vanderwielen
Jeff Vanderwielen is a principle at ZGroup Consulting and is a former senior change consultant at Ernst & Young. He has worked with over 200 companies on creating major change strategies and has coached several thousand leaders.

Back to Top ↑


The Purpose Revolution


The Purpose Advantage

THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT COMPANIES FOCUSED MORE DEEPLY on purpose and social good will be positive for their employees and for society at large. But does purpose create a meaningful competitive advantage for your enterprise? Few may disagree with the direction of the trends discussed in this book, but many may doubt whether it is the kind of game-changing force—the revolution—that we believe it to be. If you’re thinking along these lines or asking yourself similar questions, we understand—you’re not alone.

Many of the CEOs and leaders we interviewed, whose companies are already reaping significant benefit from a focus on purpose, suggested that most leaders still don’t get how important this movement has already become. Inge Thulin, president, CEO, and chairman of 3M, for example, told us that “an enterprise not focused on sustainability for their own products and those of their customers will not exist in 50 years.” Sustainability of course is bigger than just environment, though “being green” consistently tops the societal concerns of talent and consumers alike; it’s about that aspirational focus on making things better.

Darren Entwistle, CEO of TELUS, a large, profitable Canadian telecommunications company and a leader in this revolution, is not only convinced that purpose is critical for business success but bluntly adds, “The vast majority of my CEO peers simply don’t get the potential of moving in this direction.”

We don’t want to scare you into supporting the purpose-driven company philosophy discussed throughout this book, but we do want to show you that the facts all point to a changing world—an age of social good in which purpose increasingly lies at the heart of employee, customer, and investor motivation. We believe that once you understand the facts and the power of the purpose revolution, you won’t be able to ignore it any longer. To start, let’s consider the business case for purpose. There are three dimensions to explore: the risks of not focusing on purpose, the direct opportunity that comes from purpose, and the indirect benefits that derive from a purpose-driven culture.


In the age of social good, there is great risk in not being a purpose-driven company that perpetuates social good. Take Volkswagen (VW), the German auto manufacturer whose scandal involving manipulating the software on its cars to deceive regulators about the vehicles’ emissions cost the company billions of dollars in lawsuits and reparations to dealers, as well as customers. It also started a conversation among the car-buying public. A colleague told us recently about a conversation he had with a group of fellow professionals at a party, half of whom said they would never again buy a VW product. The value of VW stock has been decimated—cut in half—and there is a good chance the scandal will follow the company for years to come.

Many top talent, especially young recruits, now compile lists of companies they simply won’t work for. Take the case of Lisa, a top grad from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who told us, “My friends and I researched companies we felt were working against values we care about. Companies like Exxon[Mobil], VW, BP [British Petroleum], Monsanto, and about 30 others were on our list. We called it the ‘no fly’ list.” Companies made the list for reasons ranging from environmental damage to ethical lapses.

Recruiters at 3M, Ford, and many other companies tell us that on college campuses, students increasingly come armed with information about the company’s corporate reputation already in hand. One HR exec said to us, “They already know our story; they just want to know if it’s real.” If recruits believe that your company is serious about its mission, they’ll be more open to working with you. If they find that there are holes in your corporate reputation, they won’t mind writing you off—there are plenty of other companies out there whose values align with theirs.

Though the risk side is a strong case for purpose, the upside of being purpose driven is even stronger. Consider a 2015 study by IO Sustainability and Babson College titled Project ROI Report: Defining the Competitive and Financial Advantages of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.1 The research study took a wide path to examine far-reaching data points and do a meta-analysis of whether being good pays off. The report found that “strong corporate responsibility (CR), which is one important part of the purpose equation, increases commitment, affinity, and engagement of employees.” Note that corporate social responsibility is not synonymous with purpose, though it does play a role in how companies drive and activate purpose today.

The study reports that employees would be willing to take a 5 percent pay cut to work for an employer that is committed to social responsibility. Organizations with effective CR programs and approaches can increase productivity by up to 13 percent and reduce the annual quit rate by 3 to 3.5 percent, saving replacement costs of up to 90 to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary for each employee who stays. Over time the average turnover rate can be reduced by 25 to 50 percent.

The study also revealed that strong CR has a meaningful impact on marketing and sales and can “increase revenue by 20 percent; increase price premium up to 20 percent; and increase customer commitment in the total segment of 60 percent.” Maybe most telling is that, according to Project ROI, corporate responsibility has the potential to “increase market value by up to 4–6 percent; over a 15-year period increase shareholder value by USD $1.28 billion; and avoid market losses from crisis by USD $378 million.”

As you can see, we’re not talking about chump change here; this is a phenomenon of epic proportions. If you don’t heed the warning signs, you not only leave money on the table but also lose the best and brightest minds. This talent pool is not just domestic, either. One of the most important aspects of this revolution is that the purpose-centered employee is a global phenomenon cutting across borders. A 2016 global survey of 26,151 LinkedIn members in 40 different countries and speaking 16 different languages found that 37 percent of LinkedIn members are “purpose oriented” and “38 percent considered purpose to be equally weighted with either money or status.”2

The countries rating highest on purpose orientation were Sweden (53 percent), Germany (50 percent), the Netherlands (50 percent), Belgium (49 percent), and Poland (48 percent). The United States showed a 40 percent purpose orientation in its workforce. The lowest purpose-oriented country in the study was Saudi Arabia, at 23 percent. For many companies the war for talent is a global fight, so showing how your team is helping solve the world’s great challenges is becoming a ticket to engaging talent everywhere a company operates. And it’s not just potential employees—it’s potential new customers.


One of the greatest opportunities in business today is in reaching the emerging global middle class. What it takes to win this growing market might surprise you. The rise of the middle class in the developing world, particularly in Asia, is a major aspect driving the purpose revolution. China, for example, has brought more people into the middle class and out of poverty in a shorter span of time than any society in human history. The Edelman Goodpurpose Study showed that 80 percent of consumers in China and 71 percent in India were willing to pay more for products from companies with a purpose.3

John Edwin Mroz, founder, president, and CEO of the EastWest Institute and a mentor of ours, spent a great deal of time working at high levels with the Chinese government. Behind the scenes their most senior people told him they were surprised that once they brought so many people into the middle class, expectations changed rapidly. Suddenly, people were demanding a clean environment and more accountability while increasing pressure on the government to address such specific issues as air pollution and food safety.

People in poverty don’t generally push businesses to be more responsible, nor do they focus primarily on the sense of purpose they get at work; but once people rise to a higher income level, they begin considering these factors. Right now this is occurring across the developing world in greater numbers than ever before. This rising middle class in the developing world will pressure companies to take purpose and social responsibility very seriously.

In a 2015 Forbes article, Bill Fischer points out that the rising Chinese middle class and “growing focus on serving Chinese consumers” is driving companies to shift their culture toward innovation and that the most successful innovations are driven by “pursuing a sense of purpose.”4 One example of this is Shinho, a Chinese food company which, in the words of Charles Hayes, managing director of IDEO China, is motivated “not just by commercial objectives, but by using their business to improve people’s lives.”

Shinho’s higher aspirations are evident in its mission: We lead the diet to improve the ecology, so that family peace of mind to enjoy every meal, live music every day.5 Shinho’s purpose is realized through its commitment to seven causes: sustainable agricultural cultivation, a reliable diet supply chain, innovative product development, high standards of manufacturing, convenient retail channels, an extreme diet experience, and a full range of food education.

As incomes rise internationally, an emerging desire for meaning is accompanied by disillusionment with modern life. Otto Scharmer, a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), refers to this idea as the “three divides of modern society”: the nature divide, the social divide, and the spiritual divide. The nature divide is a growing disconnect between global society and our impact on the environment, evidenced most powerfully by the climate change crisis. The social divide is the increasing gap between rich and poor. The spiritual divide is the growing experience of loss of meaning often related to the experience at work.

These growing divides are fueling a wall of energy heading toward contemporary companies worldwide that will pressure them to address all three divides. Companies will soon be scrambling to keep pace with the emerging desires of talent and customers. Those companies perceived as proactively leading for change will become the preferred brands and employers.


In the coming chapters, we profile numerous leaders and companies that we believe are in the forefront of the purpose revolution, driving purpose within their organizations and teams while creating a better world in the process. As you’ll see, some of these companies began with a clear purpose woven into the very product they make or service they provide. Others developed their purpose over time, finding what connects with their core values as people and as an organization, and how that relates to their employees and customers. Because unearthing that purpose and communicating it widely is a main tenant of engaging in the purpose revolution, the first step in activating purpose in your organization is to articulate a clear, compelling purpose, one that is bigger than simply making money.

To illustrate the potential of purpose to drive business advantage, take the case of Seventh Generation, which has continuously gained customers in large part due to its willingness to clearly and concisely promote its purpose and then back up the words with deeds.

Seventh Generation: Walking the Walk

Founded in 1988 in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation sells cleaning, personal care, and paper products and supplies, with an emphasis on corporate responsibility, sustainability, the environment, and consumer health. The company’s mission is “to inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.”6

The company’s dish and hand soaps, diapers and wipes, botanical disinfectants, and feminine hygiene products are all made with the customer’s best interests at heart, using biodegradable, recyclable, and organic materials and avoiding harmful or harsh chemicals and plastics. The company is particularly well known for its laundry detergent—and not just because it keeps people’s clothes smelling fresh and clean.

Seventh Generation believes, as many of its customers do, that people should know what ingredients go into their cleaning products. Customers see the company’s commitment to sustainability right on the labels, highlighting the key value attributes of its products. For example, on laundry detergent: “No dyes, optical brighteners or synthetic fragrances, Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent… [is] made with plant-based ingredients [and] is a USDA Certified Biobased Product 97%.”7 On the dishwasher detergent, in addition to no dyes or synthetic fragrances, the label communicates: “Chlorine bleach and phosphate free.”8 In fact, the company believes so strongly in customer education on this issue that it has taken significant steps toward ingredient transparency for all cleaning-product companies.

The case of a campaign the company ran shows how being purpose driven is good business. In 2014 Seventh Generation led an effort tied to Earth Day aimed at getting the US Congress to pass a bill focused on toxic chemical safety reform, asking people to demand greater regulation over chemical safety. The company ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, asking citizens for 100,000 signatures on a petition to get the bill passed. The ad focused on why the issue mattered for the planet and for society—and it didn’t mention the company’s products.

Joey Bergstein, Seventh Generation’s CEO, says that the ad had a larger impact on sales volume than did all the coupons they offered for a year—even though those directly benefit the customer’s wallet. The company tackled an issue that it felt was important to its customers and invited them to get involved directly. The campaign was much more than a simple marketing effort. It solidified Seventh Generation’s relationships with its customers and reinforced its mission for good.

The company’s current campaign focuses on ingredient disclosure—the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act. The campaign invites people to join the effort to make product labeling transparent and offers clear suggestions on what they can do: “Make sure you’re only using products that list their ingredients on the labels” and “Support the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (H.R. 2728) by contacting your US representative.”9

Seventh Generation regularly demonstrates its values and shows that it has skin in the game, inviting its growing customer base to participate when it takes a stand. By showing its customers that they are in this fight together and that its actions align with its customers’ needs and principles, the company is already winning the purpose advantage.

While this ad campaign was a genuine expression of Seventh Generation’s purpose, it also serves as an example to any organization that wants to close the purpose gap and help consumers make the “good” choices they want to make.

Because we never know what will resonate with customers, it’s critical to test your purpose initiatives for business impact. Rather than traditional marketing, such testing is ultimately about building a more authentic relationship with consumers centered around your shared values.


Developing a clear purpose isn’t always easy. We’ve heard from numerous leaders who believe that their company is already too established or traditional—or that the product they sell doesn’t lend itself to a purpose like Seventh Generation’s—to enable a purpose that will strongly resonate with customers and employees. Sure, Seventh Generation’s purpose is essentially laid out in its name, but there are many other companies that are leading with purpose and, in so doing, are attracting and retaining top talent and customers.

The way they do this is by championing a cause that aligns with their customers’, employees’, and other stakeholders’ values, beliefs, or ethics. When your company stands for more than a great product or service, you effect a qualitative shift in the relationship between your company and others. The product or service relationship is transcended, as the company is now viewed as a community member, a valued partner in a group assembled around a common good. Many companies avoid taking a stand to avoid the risk of alienating or turning away potential customers, but people tend to respect companies with the courage to try to right the wrongs that they see in the world.

Championing a cause that you believe in provides hope and builds trust, not just in your company but in business overall. For those companies clear about their own purpose, clear about their customers’ values, and clear about their commitment to doing the right thing first, their actions become a way of life—and they need not always be grandiose gestures. Taking a stand can be as simple as sending a clear message during times of uncertainty.


Amid the confusion and emotion over the 2017 Muslim travel ban and talk about building a wall on the US-Mexico border, Anheuser-Busch supported immigration when it ran its Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl. The portrayal of its cofounder Adolphus Busch, a German immigrant, shows him rising above obstacles and the prejudices of his day to create a great American company. Honoring its own legacy, Anheuser-Busch spoke out against the idea that immigrants are a dangerous lot or that they are coming to the United States to sponge off the system. Rather, the commercial portrayed immigrants as the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit still alive in the country, the true foundation of the American dream.

Howard Schultz, executive chairman and former CEO of Star-bucks, also took a public stance on the immigration issue. In response to the Muslim travel ban, he tweeted, “We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.” Despite some calls for boycotting Starbucks by supporters of the travel ban, Schultz stood by his convictions. As reported by, he announced that “Starbucks is developing plans to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years across the 75 countries globally where it does business,” and he renewed the company’s commitment to working with Mexico, which is a large source of the coffee maker’s beans.”10

Leveraging social media like Schultz or mainstream media like Anheuser-Busch are clear, effective ways to champion a cause and work toward a better world. Anheuser-Busch’s reliance on the company’s heritage and immigrant and entrepreneurial roots spoke volumes. Building on a company’s traditions can go a long way.


As you consider the global implications of the purpose revolution, you may think of this trend as one that is happening to your business when in fact it is already taking place within your business. Most of us want our work to have purpose—to serve something greater than profits—and we want our legacy to leave a better world for those who come after us, let alone for those of us already here.

The fact that this desire already exists among most employees and customers means we have tremendous assets to draw on as we move in this direction. Rather than having to ignite your company around purpose, the main goal is to harness what is already there.

For example, Canadian National Railway Company (CN), a major rail transport company based in Montreal, set lofty goals to reduce its carbon footprint while also reducing waste and energy use. When Chantale Després, director of sustainability for CN, began her career in sales and marketing, she was intrigued by the emerging trend of customers asking questions about environmental issues. She is herself an example of the many people we have met who have seen their own work satisfaction skyrocket as they navigated to positions within their company where they feel they can make a difference on issues affecting society.

In our discussions with Després, she told us, “As we began our efforts toward becoming greener, we really wanted to find a way to do it from the bottom up. Before we started we surveyed our employee base and found tremendous support for our doing this. We wanted to find a way that every team member could feel part of what we were trying to accomplish.” They created a program called EcoConnexions, a ground-up effort to get people from all over the company more engaged by involving them in attempts to reduce waste and increase efficiency.

Across the company leaders asked employees to step up to become “sustainability EcoChampions” in each of the company’s railyards throughout North America. The response was overwhelmingly positive. As they rolled out the program to their more than 120 locations, there were often many more people who wanted to be the local EcoChampion than there were positions. “We discovered there were a great many ‘closet’ champions for the environment already out there, and this gave them a way to bring that passion to their work and become program leaders. Not only have we made great progress on reducing our carbon footprint and diverting waste but we find that many newer employees are very interested in what we are doing.” The EcoConnexions program is focused not just on the leaders in each yard but on every person stepping up every day to look for ways to become greener and more efficient.

The point is we don’t have to look outside of our business to find this purpose revolution; it is already happening within our business. Each of us as a leader has likely had our own moments when we feel that the place we work is out of alignment with the purpose we have in our life.

A few years ago, an executive working for one of our clients talked to us about the consistent disconnect she felt between her values and her daily work. She mentioned that every week she was asked to make decisions in her role as an executive that were against her personal values. She dreaded coming into work week after week, knowing that she’d have to make a call on issues she just couldn’t get behind. She questioned her own values as a leader and as an employee and knew that her work didn’t match the high standards she held for herself and the company. She felt she could not express those feelings to her colleagues; there simply wasn’t a place for a purpose conversation. Eventually, she left that job for an organization that she felt was purpose driven, robbing the former company of one of its best performers.

Have you ever felt that way as a leader? What was the impact on your commitment, engagement, and ultimate willingness to work hard for the company? This kind of disconnect is corrosive in any organization and ultimately means we won’t get the best from our people. This disconnect can happen as easily in nonprofit organizations like health care as it can in for-profit companies when employees experience a disconnect between the organization’s stated purpose and values and how decisions are made day to day. By leaning into the deeper desire for purpose that already exists in our companies, we can energize people toward success.

Heineken Mexico: Not Just Selling Suds

In looking for companies that exemplify where the purpose revolution is headed, we think Heineken Mexico hits all the checkmarks discussed in this chapter. A global company whose primary consumers are part of an emerging middle class, Heineken Mexico has developed a competitive advantage by getting clear on purpose, activating it within the company, championing a cause, and in the process connecting with employees, customers, and the community in new ways.

When Dolf van den Brink moved to Mexico from the United States in 2015, he saw a country with great potential but also many challenges. As the new CEO of Heineken Mexico—the largest national division for the company worldwide—he understood that one of Heineken’s purposes was to “win big” by growing its brands, but he also sensed the opportunity for so much more. The company had a long history of service in Mexico, including starting one of the most respected universities in Monterrey and offering health care to employees and their families in the days when few companies did so. Van den Brink wanted to seize the chance to emphasize Heineken Mexico’s commitment to its employees, customers, and maybe—above all—the community at large.

His own experiences working in the Congo connected him to the real difference that companies can make in the communities in which they live and operate. His quest to redefine the purpose of Heineken Mexico began by getting his senior leaders to look at their own personal values. What was their personal purpose in life? What were they trying to create?

“People have this idea of what business is about that is often disconnected from their own personal purpose,” van den Brink says. “If you want leaders to discover purpose, it has to begin as a personal question. I find that when you get people talking about the business, they focus on profits; but when you first get people thinking about their personal purpose, what they want to be true in their personal lives, this is where the true magic happens—because the purpose of most people’s life is not simply to make money.”

Through this process that began by examining personal purpose, van den Brink’s team ultimately connected to the idea that the company could “help Mexico fulfill its highest potential.” In part that realization led to a new purpose statement: To win big for a better Mexico.

One of the first initiatives to activate this new purpose was bold. Violence against women in Mexico is a major problem and often widely accepted as a fact of life. According to one study, 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 years old have experienced some form of gender violence, which could include physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological violence.11 In 2015 BBC News reported that in Mexico a woman is raped every four minutes.12

One of Heineken Mexico’s brands, Tecate, is considered a premiere “man’s beer,” historically associated with ads and calendars replete with attractive, half-dressed women. The company decided to confront violence against women and help redefine a new masculinity as part of the larger purpose of a better Mexico.

To start, they ran a bold television ad about violence against women that ends by saying, “If you’re a man who is abusive to women, you aren’t one of us—don’t buy our beer.” It was honest, blunt, and a bit of a risk. When was the last time you saw an ad from a brand, saying, “Don’t buy our product?” But the ad and the subsequent social media campaign left little doubt that Heineken was serious about winning big for a better Mexico. Later that year they ran ads about “no” meaning no as part of the overall goal to offer up a new version of masculinity. The response within the company in terms of activating purpose and showing that Heineken was serious about a “better Mexico” was overwhelmingly positive.

Heineken Mexico’s social awareness and support of its community, spurred on under van den Brink’s leadership, exhibits a company embracing the global purpose revolution. The underlying values connect with employees, consumers, and other stakeholders— including shareholders.

Mexico is one of the fastest-growing markets for Heineken globally. To respond to that momentum in recent years, the company announced a significant investment program to accelerate capacity expansions. It’s been reported that Heineken Mexico may need to add production capacity to its operation by the end of 2017.13 Parent company Heineken also cited the Latin American market and double-digit revenue growth of Sol, its Mexican light beer, as major contributors to its 2016 revenue growth of 3.5 percent, operating profits of 6.9 percent, and net profits of 16 percent.14

While the jury is still out on the business impact of this new, more purpose-focused direction, the fact that companies like Heineken Mexico are focusing on trying to influence the social fabric in positive ways speaks volumes about what the future holds. We believe that in the purpose revolution those willing to boldly take a stand will be rewarded. If your purpose is real, it will resonate.


Images   Honestly assess where your company stands regarding purpose and how well it is positioned for the purpose revolution. Can you easily identify your company’s purpose and how it is being approached and activated?

Images   Consider your business case for purpose. Can you and other leaders clearly articulate your company’s purpose and how it makes a difference to your customers and society?

Images   Research other companies in your industry to see how they are approaching the purpose revolution. What is the conversation around purpose at conferences, meetings, and industry-related events?

Images   Read up on companies driving purpose in other industries as well, especially those that are global in nature.

Images   Think about your personal values and how you are personally contributing to purpose in your organization. Do you see your personal values come to life at work? Even if you are not a senior leader, how are you driving purpose in your team or area of responsibility?

Images   If your company hasn’t yet identified its true purpose, consider how its actions, products, or services can make a difference in society, directly or indirectly.

Images   Uncover the aspirational purpose of your business. What do you think it is, even if it doesn’t have credibility yet in the larger organization?

Images   Build on the strength of your company’s heritage. Discuss your company’s story, its founders, and ways you can add to the story.

Images   Look for opportunities to champion a cause in your community.

Back to Top ↑


“A valuable addition to a growing body of academic research—and business experience—showing that purpose-led companies really do perform better and last longer and are in tune with the hopes and aspirations of the people they serve. This book shows why purpose needs to start at the top and then shows how to embed it everywhere in the organization.”
—Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

“Dr. John Izzo is one of the world's leading business authors, and his latest work,
The Purpose Revolution, shares invaluable lessons on how to build your organization's culture around a common purpose. I am grateful to John for producing this seminal book that will help organizations of all kinds strengthen their culture by discovering and honoring their unique social purpose.”
—Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS

“Purpose can be incredibly powerful to transform and unleash your organization. If you want to know why purpose matters and how to activate it in your organization, read this book. It is filled with great ideas you can use right away to discover your own purpose as a leader and embed it in your team.”
—Dolf van den Brink, CEO, Heineken Mexico

“This book makes a compelling case for how more and more people are seeking self-actualization through both the work they choose to do as employees and the companies they choose to buy from. It is filled with many useful tools to help define, refresh, and bring purpose to life in your business.”
—Joey Bergstein, CEO, Seventh Generation

The Purpose Revolution is at once an eloquent manifesto and a practical guidebook. The authors first grab you with compelling evidence that purpose matters (a lot). Then they tell engaging stories about people and organizations who've thrived because they understood at their core how important purpose is. And every step of the way John and Jeff provide immediate actions you and your organization can take to audit, craft, communicate, and commit to an authentic, inspiring, and scalable purpose that connects. The Purpose Revolution is here. Not just the book, but the movement. Join it—now. Or get left behind wondering why your employees, customers, and investors have moved on to someone who has.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“Purpose-driven business is a powerful approach for overcoming our greatest societal challenges and driving business growth. This book provides a realistic, practical approach to embedding purpose in an organization, and it's engaging along the way.”
—Jean Bennington Sweeney, Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M

The Purpose Revolution provides a blueprint to higher levels of employee engagement and competitive advantage! John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen show the path to success in the new age for leaders in their amazingly insightful new book.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

The Purpose Revolution, Dr. Izzo offers a framework for success that is grounded in research and decades of wisdom accumulated from advising leaders.”
—Dr. Geoff Smart, founder and Chairman, ghSMART, and author of Who and Power Score

“This powerful, practical book not only shows you what your employees and customers expect but shows you how to powerfully activate purpose in your business. A must-read for anyone wanting to win in the age of social good.”
—KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder and CEO, Sustainable Life Media, producers of Sustainable Brands

“If you think you've heard others talk about purpose and you don't need any more on that topic, think again! The authors take this discussion to a whole new level. They not only deliver superb examples and stories but will make all leaders reconsider their current approach. They also provide a strategy for how to apply these principles to any size organization. A fast and practical read.”
—Bev Kaye, bestselling author of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em and Up Is Not the Only Way

“This book describes a powerful revolution of expectations among your employees and customers. Izzo has helped ignite purpose in our company and shows you how to do the same. A must-read for every person in your company!”
—Simon Nankervis, President, Town Shoes Ltd.

“Purpose and meaning are at the heart of leading. If you have time to read only one book this year on what brings the power of purpose to leadership, this is it! With a powerful blend of science, philosophy, and personal experience, this is a powerful read on the key ingredients for purpose in work and life.”
—Richard Leider, international bestselling author of The Power of Purpose, Repacking Your Bags, and Life Reimagined

“At a time when Air Canada is expanding globally, our business is growing at an unprecedented rate, and we have the additional challenge of a multigenerational workforce, John's insightful findings around the value of purpose resonated with us at every level and will inform our culture change initiatives now and in the future.”
—Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice President, People and Culture, Air Canada

“John Izzo was an early advocate for the idea that companies have a ‘soul'—a meaning and purpose beyond just profit-making. In
The Purpose Revolution, Izzo and Vanderwielen provide a strong business and moral case for business leaders to focus intently on why their companies exist and what they do for society. This book shows you how identifying and acting on your company's purpose will make your business more successful, your employees more engaged, and your own work more meaningful.”
—Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot and coauthor of Green to Gold

Back to Top ↑