As part of our three questions in three minutes series we get insight from a leading practitioner on what was the top focus for 2016, biggest sustainability trend for 2017 and where’s sustainability heading in 5 years’ time
What was your top focus for 2016?
In the last year, my team and I were focused on defining and communicating our company's mission, vision and values. Last year was our full first year as an independent company following our separation from eBay and, in my mind, mission, vision and values are the foundation for any organization that intends to have global social impact.
We find ourselves at a defining moment in time, when companies must think and act more coherently and consistently about how their values play out in the world. As mission, vision and values become more deeply embedded into the core of the organization, they become the foundation on which everything else is built, a driver of performance and the measure by which we evaluate success. It's more than just a verbal commitment; it takes careful, deliberate work to fully demonstrate and live them across all our operations and the multitude of ways we show up to our key stakeholders around the world.
We believe a strong, clear mission, vision and values should drive our corporate strategy; our product roadmap; the way we interact with partners and governments; the way we hire – and the way we work together. At PayPal that means that we’re focused on our ability to make a difference in the lives of those who are underserved by the financial system – relentlessly working together to reimagine money and democratize the financial system to improve the financial health of our customers.
What is the biggest trend you see for sustainability for 2017?
With significant political and economic shifts taking place around the world, we’re continuing to see our public and private systems transform at a rapid pace and on a global scale. With this changing landscape, it’s even more important that we work together to develop long-term, sustainable solutions that will empower people around the world – particularly the underserved – to connect and thrive. Keeping the needs of our customers at the centre of what we do and focusing on solving their pain points is critical.
Technology has a major role to play in this. Tech-driven disruption has transformed many industries – personal computing, entertainment, manufacturing, to name just a few – and I believe 2017 will be an important year in the continued evolution of money and reimagination of financial services. With the scale that software provides and the ubiquity of mobile phones, people everywhere have the power of a bank branch in the palm of their hands. Fintech is making solutions easier, safer, more affordable and more accessible for everyone. And as the rise and acceleration of Fintech innovation demonstrates, this year I foresee businesses continuing to embrace technology to better understand and serve their customers – and do so at unprecedented scale.
Where will you see sustainability heading in 5 years’ time?
To drive long-lasting, inclusive growth will require deep collaboration on several levels across the private sector, NGO community and regulatory bodies. The leading businesses of the future will be those that are open to working with new types of organizations, find new and different ways to collaborate, and explore how they can extend and scale their impact through strategic partnerships.
By collaborating to scale the positive social impact of Fintech and create a more accessible, affordable and participatory financial system, we are not only working to benefit billions of people around the world, but also advancing our interests in delivering long-term, sustainable business results to our shareholders.
Over the next five years and beyond, I believe we’ll see even more of this kind of strategic partnership and collaboration – within and across sectors, both private and public – which will unlock new opportunities for innovation and impact at scale.
Franz Paasche will be speaking at our upcoming Responsible Business Summit New York. Taking place on March 27-28, the event will host 250+ leading US brands sharing how to create a business of purpose and profit. Other brands leading the debate include; Dell, Ford Motors Foundation, Interface, PepsiCo, Infosys, Ecolab, VF Corporation, Zendesk, HSBC Bank USA plus many more. Click here for more information
Read our other three questions in three minutes series here:
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