Business: Bottom line must now include people and planet as well as profit - Bruce Walker

As the business world adjusts to global tailwinds and the news of some tech layoffs coming from Silicon Valley, business leaders are rightly asking themselves where they should prioritise spend and where to make potential cuts.

When the economy is feeling wobbly, communication is more important than ever – just think of FTX or Twitter in the business world in recent times, or, closer to home in politics, Liz Truss when it comes to communications and planning.

As consumers, we all know we have a deeper connection to businesses that communicate authentically, care about the environment, and have a purpose that resonates with local communities. Which is why during any economic downturn, your USP comes from how you communicate with your customers, the actions you take and the commitment to your purpose.

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Evidence shows customers reward authentic brands, with Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2020 showing that 64 per cent of today’s customers are “belief-driven buyers”.

A FutureX-led founder visit to global tech group Trustpilot
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Our mission at FutureX is to help founders and high-growth potential companies realise their missions by combining purpose-driven communication with growth strategies that generate a healthy triple bottom line; people, planet, and profit.

For the last 10 years, we have been creating international leadership courses and programmes, working all over the world, from Silicon Valley to India, China, and of course back in Scotland. Additionally, we advise large corporations and governments on creating their own accelerator and leadership programmes, as well as consulting with high-growth leadership teams to save them time, remove roadblocks, and dream bigger.

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The latest programme “How to Scale with Purpose” is an immersive four-day course, delivered in partnership with experts in their field, including Mark Logan, the Scottish Government’s Chief Entrepreneur and former Skyscanner COO, Graeme Barron, VP Legal at Trustpilot, and Arelette Halavage, Senior Leader at GSK.

The cohort-based programme is supported by Johnston Carmichael and Scottish Enterprise, and is positioned to take founders out of their comfort zone and introduce them to world-class education, advice, and networks. One of the highlights of the course has been the immersive company visits, which included a private tour of the Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) Crop Research Centre outside Dundee and Q&A with IGS CEO David Farquhar. The visit to the vertical farm was a fantastic showcase of technology and innovation being created in Scotland, with IGS building on centuries of crop management and putting Scotland firmly on the environmental tech map.

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These programmes not only provide access to world class opportunities and learning, but create powerful new networks for the founders who generate connections and friendships that will last their entire career.

With the famous quote from the World Economic Forum reminding us, “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again”, it’s critical that founders keep learning, up-skilling and growing their network, with Mark Logan telling us this week that you must be “aggressive with your own learning and development” and that “best practice almost always comes from outside your own organisation”.

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Together we can shine a light on the innovative ecosystem we have locally and help each other build strong, resilient businesses that serve people, preserve our planet, and generate sustainable profit.

Bruce Walker is the CEO and Co-founder of FutureX

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