Living in a time of COVID-19. Choose to matter
March 31, 2020
Living in a time of COVID-19. Being essential
April 10, 2020

How to be a business & brand that belongs in post 2020 society:

By Peter Schmitt


The current changes we’re facing are significant and far-reaching, and they are requiring all of us to think and behave very differently.
We cannot carry on living and behaving the way we have since the 1950’s.

But change is difficult. There are many factors and players opposing it.

The huge advantage of living in a time of crisis, is that we’re collectively forced to check our current reality, beliefs, values and support systems in order to survive. The opposing forces start receding as the important issues take centre stage.

It’s a golden opportunity to re-connect with the people around you to start envisioning a new collaborative, shared future with a positive outcome – for us individually, for our businesses, for our society and for our world.

I read this next quote in a great article by Sarah Matthew, entitled a “New Era of Enterprise

“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” – Buckminster Fuller, American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist

For the first time in 53 years of my life, I can truly answer both questions: why the world needs me and my business (see previous post). Yes. I’m now on the road to relevance. It’s liberating and a huge responsibility. Asking myself these tough questions every morning has motivated me to spend the last nine months and the next part of my life journey doing something meaningful.

Building a new model that makes the old model obsolete.

With Davos 2020 focus on shift from shareholder to stakeholder, it’s interesting to note that the very first Davos Manifesto in 1973 included “A Code of Ethics for Business Leaders” which said: “The purpose of professional management is to serve clients, shareholders, workers and employees, as well as societies, and to harmonise the different interests of the stakeholders”. 

At this year’s event, Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America said: “What we seek is a general framework for companies to demonstrate their long‑term sustainability; a framework that integrates financial metrics along with relevant non‑financial criteria such as esg considerations, gender equality, compensation practices, supply chain management, and other activities.”

In other words, we need a new model that makes us as businesses relevant to our shared future.

In July 2019 we started building a new model and holistic framework to help businesses and brands become relevant beyond 2020. We’ve called it the “Purpose-Value Chain” and it has given me something to get up for every morning. It has become my daily quest to be more relevant to our society as a whole.

Since starting to share the model with people who are of the worldview that it’s a collective leadership responsibility to be relevant, we’re slowly gaining some traction. Collaborating on this basis with new likeminded connections is the start of a quiet movement, and we’re looking for the pioneers to join us.

With the lockdown you probably have some time to reflect right now. Why don’t you use this time to reflect, take up the challenge and then do something about it?

Let’s use this time of crisis to step up our game. 
Let’s not waste this opportunity to make a radical change.

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