One of the latest buzzwords, particularly since Covid, is around ‘purpose-driven’ companies. Understandably, global and local events and circumstances have increased consumer awareness of the responsibility of organisations and brands to remain relevant and to raise the bar in terms of their roles within society as a whole.
It is widely recognised that many people today, especially within the younger generation of Millennials and Generation Z’s, increasingly relate to authentic and trustworthy brands whose values align with their own.
We asked Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group – a company with its roots deeply embedded in the African continent but with international reach, and which interacts and connects daily on a personal level with people across all walks of life, what the company’s focus areas are in a highly competitive, constantly evolving industry. This type of business makes for a good yardstick for discussion around overarching nature of purpose and purpose-driven companies, as there’s a certain intimacy involved in constantly going into people’s homes – their personal space, and helping them sell what is often their most prized asset.
Dr Golding: There’s really nothing new about being purpose-driven as an organisation but it has however come increasingly to the fore in the challenging and volatile world we find ourselves operating a business in. We believe the ongoing success of our brand, founded 46 years ago by the late Pam Golding, lies not only in innovation, acumen and experience, but also in the values every agent and staff member should uphold every day, and in how they portray themselves and make a contribution within the local communities in which they operate.
Question: But isn’t your business essentially about the selling of homes?
Dr Golding: Of course, our business is about facilitating property transactions – predominantly sales and letting – but we have been on a specific purposeful journey for many years, which is underpinned by our own ethos and culture – in other words our own cohesive purpose. In order to remain relevant, we have in recent years taken a path that still embraces the essence and ethos of our founder, Pam Golding. It began with our ‘I am Pam’ campaign, which motivated each agent to embody the same values as Pam, and then transitioned to our ‘Live Remarkable’ campaign, where we sought to embed the notion of ‘cherishing the human spirit’’ by recognising remarkable South Africans and Africans who, through their behaviours and actions, inspire us to be our best versions of ourselves as we go about our daily business.
Question: So what has changed and why?
Dr Golding: In more recent years, we realised that in order to remain relevant and successful, we wanted to define and redefine what drives us as an organisation and as individuals, and how we engage with each other, our clients, communities and the world at large, each and every day. What this comes down to for us is that we believe we are actually in the business of being selected – by predominantly sellers and to a lesser extent buyers – and that if we are able to curate the way we show up both as an organisation and as individuals, then that would be in the form of ’cherishing the human spirit’. With over 300 offices and approximately 2 500 agents and staff in 15 different countries, we believe that if we make a conscious, collective choice as to how we ‘show up’ each day, and conduct ourselves with sincerity and authenticity, and by upholding these principles or values, then this will have a positive effect on our business, the people in it and the clients who choose us. We acknowledge that by definition this is continuous work in progress, and that it’s part of an ongoing and potentially never-ending process. It’s also an important cornerstone from which most other strategies, tactics and actions spring.
Question: Can you give an example of these core values?
Dr Golding: Firstly, the business was founded on and has built its reputation on these core values. Examples include the fact that we choose positivity over a negative outlook on the world and on life, we uphold the values of integrity and honesty, we put family values first before so-called corporate values and we treat people with empathy and care. Critically, we believe that if we behave in this way it’s not only good for business but also makes a positive contribution to the world around us and that we engage with.
Question: What does it mean to you personally?
Dr Golding: While we recognise remarkable people and celebrate and cherish the human spirit, it’s not about all of us having to be remarkable beyond our inherent capabilities, but rather it’s about what we do every day and how we do it, and how we make a difference. Our Heart of Gold programme, which incorporates all our many and varied CSI initiatives across South Africa and other African countries, provides a platform for this. By choosing this path and clearly demonstrating what we as a company and as individuals represent, we hope to contribute towards a positive future for the country, as it makes good sense both from a humanitarian and business perspective. Ultimately, it’s not about what we say we do, it’s about what we do and how we do it. We want the world at large to know us and who we are and what we stand for.
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Posted by The Know - Pam Golding Properties