Today, we feature another great author in this series. Rishad Tobaccowala is the Chief Growth Officer at Publicis Groupe, an advertising and communications firm with 80,000 people! He has a brand new book, Restoring the Soul of Business.
We talk about how business leaders are overly focused on spreadsheets, why the best companies are like religions, the importance of being human beings at work!
Spreadsheet, Story, and Soul
Over the last few years where things are moving extremely fast because of technology, data, financial and twitchiness of time, Rishad shares that companies have started tilting towards the spreadsheet side of the business, which is measurable, data-driven and financial.
However, for Rishad, a successful company is one who can marry both the spreadsheet side of the business and the story of the business, which is about the culture, the purpose, values, emotion, and talent of the company.
“The soul of the business is when you combine the story and the spreadsheet in a way that you have a viable growing business with viable growing people, in a community that is also viable.” – Rishad Tobaccowala
Business Is For Citizens
Rishad believes that its time to optimize the business for the citizen, and not for the consumer. He discussed about this during his talk last January 2019, addressing professionals from Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.
“What we’ve created is something incredible in both the empowerment, the connections, and the wealth creation opportunities. At the same stage, there is a downside, which is, increased inequality, increased polarization and to a great extent, a break down of trust. Could it be, that in chasing just the data side of the spreadsheet side, we lost the souls of our businesses?” – Rishad Tobaccowala
The Purpose of A Company
The first one is to ensure that its four constituencies are looked after. The four are
(1) people who they serve – customers, members, users, consumers
(2) the talent that works in the company
(3) community in which the company or the companies offices and factories are based and
(4) the country in which that particular segment of the company is based.
Rishad shares that the 2nd part of the company’s reason to be.
”To generate financial profit which basically allows the company to both reinvest in all those first four criteria, as well as continue to grow because to me, growth is an important thing, but growth measured across those four indicators.” – Rishad Tobaccowala
The third one is how companies create purpose, value, meaning, and connections for life.
To listen more about Rishad’s advice to restore the soul in the business, download and listen to this episode.
Rishad is Chief Growth Officer and member of the Management Committee of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communication firm with 80,000 employees.
BusinessWeek named Rishad as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIME magazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators.
Rishad’s first book “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data” will be published globally on January 28, 2020.
Re-Inventing blog features some of his writings.
Prior to his current role, Rishad was the Chief Strategist and Member of the Directoire/+ of Publicis Groupe.
Before his corporate role, Rishad was the Chairman of DigitasLBi and Razorfish. Publicis Groupe owns these two global firms, with over 10,000 employees around the world focused on marketing and business transformation.
Rishad has 36 years of experience around the world and helped grow, founded/co-founded or incubated a variety of companies including VivaKi, Leo Burnett, Starcom, SMG Next, Starcom IP, Giant Step, Play, and Denuo.
Rishad has a BS in Mathematics from the University of Bombay and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.