The Purpose Hopscotch

Diego Kolsky
2 min readFeb 4, 2022


“It is not ‘woke.’ It is capitalism.” Larry Fink’s (Blackrock’s CEO) widely reported quote could have easily come from a brand consultant and shows how rooted the ongoing movement to transcendence (purpose) in business is. Reading it led me to ask: what choices can companies evaluate when defining their purpose? And how do they ‘get there’?

Maslow (of Sorts)

Most of us are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. But what about businesses — what are they after when participating in deep social transformations? If purpose guides modern business, which needs elevate companies from producers to players in building a better, shared future?

The Business Hopscotch

Evolution is a process that results from consecutive choices. It’s more hopscotch than linear and based on a constant dialog between purpose (internal–strategy, planning) and context (external–competitive, new behaviors, technology, etc.) Research, ideation, prototyping, and analysis are essential to identifying emerging opportunities and exploring, measuring, and adopting new opportunities.

This framework is contextual by intent (i.e., rooted in available business models, technology, and trends) to generate objective options (which you may tweak to specific sectors.) The path applies whether a company is an incumbent or disrupter (the first contend with the pull of legacy, the second with lack of scale.)

Research notes and sources:

B Lab / Stakeholder Governance

“…toward a world where business is a force for good, and plays a leading role in positively impacting and transforming the global economy into a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative system.”

Thrive Market / Food Equality Now

“We’re on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone.”

Bombas / 1 purchased = 1 donated

“We exist to help support the homeless community, and to bring awareness to an under-publicized problem in the United States.”

NY Times on Larry Fink’s letter

McKinsey / Organizing for the future