Balancing Profit with Purpose: Building Beautiful Businesses for a Better Tomorrow with Professor Alex Edmans, London Business School

The Beautiful Business Podcast - Powered by The Wow Company

15-11-2023 • 28 mins

In this thought-provoking episode, Peter Czapp speaks with renowned finance professor Alex Edmans from London Business School on the intersection of profit and purpose in businesses.

The discussion kicks off with the central question: How can businesses maximise profit while remaining purposeful? Professor Edmans explains the idea that businesses guided by purpose not only contribute positively to society but also make sound economic decisions.

Professor Edmans emphasises the importance of defining a focused and targeted purpose for businesses, debunking the myth of solving all the world's problems. The conversation offers practical guidance on how businesses can authentically define and measure their purpose, with a focus on meaningful key performance indicators. The discussion also explains the role of individuals within businesses, showcasing the power of every individual to create positive change.

The episode deep dives into the relationship between purpose and profit, challenging the traditional mindset that views them as conflicting objectives. Professor Edmans shares compelling research findings that highlight how purpose-driven companies outperform their peers in long-term shareholder returns. The conversation underscores the need for a holistic shift in mindset and metrics, encouraging businesses to integrate purpose seamlessly into their operations.

Listeners will gain valuable insights into how businesses can embark on the journey towards purpose as well as a reflection on the future, envisioning a world where purpose and sustainability become so ingrained in business practices that they no longer require distinct labels.

About Alex Edmans

Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School.  Alex graduated from Oxford University and then worked for Morgan Stanley in investment banking (London) and fixed income sales and trading (New York).  After a PhD in Finance from MIT Sloan as a Fulbright Scholar, he joined Wharton in 2007 and was tenured in 2013 shortly before moving to LBS.

Alex’s research interests are in corporate finance, responsible business and behavioural finance.  He is a Director of the American Finance Association, Vice President-Elect of the Western Finance Association, a Fellow of the Financial Management Association, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. From 2017-2022 he was Managing Editor of the Review of Finance, the leading academic finance journal in Europe.


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