Purposeful Advantage: How HR can play a part

BRIDGE met with HR Directors and Heads of CSR of some of Asia’s most progressive businesses recently at an event hosted by Elliott Scott HR and held at LinkedIn office in Singapore.

Simon McKenzie (Mac), Managing Director of BRIDGE Asia-Pacific spoke on how businesses can be even more successful by being purpose-led.

A Purposeful Advantage can be gained when organisational capabilities, customer/consumer needs and societal needs intersect. This translates to much more than Corporate Social Responsibility – it’s smart business. Lifebuoy, Dove, Patagonia and Interface are organisations that are purpose-driven and have produced incredible financial results whilst making the world fairer, safer and more sustainable.

Businesses have the power and opportunity to make a difference in the world beyond their bottom line and align their goals to significant causes. The UN in 2015 set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 and articulate the challenges of our time. Mac highlighted three of these goals (Climate Action, Peace & Justice, Zero Hunger) and explained that these goals will most likely not be delivered without the support of the business community.

Mac highlighted three areas where HR leaders can drive Purposeful Advantage in their organisations.

  • Develop a Purposeful Advantage strategy. This is the interface between what your organisation is good at, what the market wants and what society needs. Clearly, developing a Purposeful Advantage strategy requires engagement, resolve and commitment at the very highest levels of the organisation, including the CEO.
  • Create a ‘Teal-like’ Culture. If you have an amazing strategy but mediocre culture then your organisation’s success can be limited. However, if you have a fantastic culture then you can do amazing things even if your strategy is mediocre. The most powerful cultures are where people feel cared about, find deep meaning in their work and become the best version of themselves. Remember: “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
  • Develop purpose-led leaders. Organisations who want to pioneer this path need leaders whose purpose goes far beyond their own self-interest. They need leaders who are brilliant at inspiring the many, are unstoppable in their courage and able to think of infinite ways to solve the complex challenges that they and the world face.

Why now? By 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the workforce and they form the most purpose-oriented group to enter the workforce with a clear majority wanting their skills to be used for good (source: Fast Company)

Singapore | 21 September 2017

BridgeFest 2016

In the summer of 2016 we held the first BridgeFest in the UK. In a unique and inspiring festival setting, we gathered together with associates, clients, community partners, friends and family for two days of awakening. Sharing the latest in our innovative & disruptive thinking and design, we ran workshops that helped to create an extraordinary community, built long lasting connections and set the foundations for many more Global BridgeFests to come.

Celebrating the extraordinary in all of us!

December 2015, marks our 25th Anniversary here at BRIDGE.  

Back in 1990 at Cambridge University our founders Lee & Jerry decided they wanted to shake it up a bit and disrupt the future leaders that many of their fellow undergraduates would become. They wanted to give them experiences that would open their hearts and minds to sides of life that most from Cambridge would never encounter. They asked them to get involved in changing the lives of children and young adults who were living on the edge. From that day forward BRIDGE was born and since then we have always found disruptive and creative ways of helping change people’s mindsets and inspiring them to believe the impossible is within reach.

Today we have over 150+ amazing employees and associates who do our work all over the world with businesses and not for profits.  We help leaders bring their hearts to work, connect to themselves and lead others.  We help businesses create cultures they are proud of and really connect to their sense of purpose and impact they can have in the world.

We have put together a short video from our birthday party, we hope you will join in our celebration for 5 minutes, grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and imagine you are there with us!

As our CEO, Tim Littlehales says, really this evening was a celebration of the extraordinary in all of us.  Without our clients, our BRIDGE team and those who have supported us on the way (including our families!) none of this would have been possible.

We feel very blessed to have been working with some great businesses this year who really want to become greater forces for good in the world and inspire their employees and customers to do the same.

Thank you all, we hope it has been a great year for you, happy holidays, take some time to rest and recharge and here is to an even more Extraordinary 2016 🙂


BRIDGE was an early pioneer in helping businesses explore the ethical and human sides of organisational life. Much of our work has been about exploring the link between higher order purposes of business and new ways of driving growth and profitability.

Whether you have a purpose that you want to reinvigorate or if you are unclear of your higher order purpose –BRIDGE will help refine, define, bring it to life and put it at the heart of your business. Crucially we help organisations explore how pursuing it’s emerging purpose will help it become more successful in truly radical ways. This means commercial success, allied to higher order impact, and new notions of customer and staff loyalty.

In November of this year we will celebrating 25 extraordinary years in business. We have grown from two friends at university trying to do something good to a global organisation who are proud to have worked with, and encouraged, so many leaders, organisations, charities and movements whist growing the talent within our own team. We have some incredible stories which we will be sharing over the coming months.