Power to Believe

Friday, 5 March 2004 - Miami, USA

Power to Believe Kevin Roberts

Presentation Summary

An address to the ATKearney Global Business Policy Council. The ATKearney Global Business Policy Council meets regularly to advance issues shaping the future. This members presentation in Miami picks up the topic of Success within the Double Bottom Line, and runs with it.

Success within the Double Bottom Line: social entrepreneurs

Back in the “shagadelic” Austin Power 60s I believed that Nothing is Impossible. The Saatchi brothers believed it in 1970. I believe it today. So, I see, does adidas – even if they’ve stuck it in reverse!!

The opportunities of the global market economy lit up my life. After Mao and Nehru the market did the same for millions in China and India. It can do the same for billions today.

Schumpeter got it right. Enterprise is the key. A rising wave of business and social entrepreneurs are together doing what a bureaucracy or Aid donor can’t. Move the world.

It is true that none of us is as strong as all of us.

It is the power of one that ignites.

The role of business is not to create wealth. It is to make the world a better place through the creation of sustainable enterprises. That means creating self-esteem through jobs, choices and challenges. It means delivering on dreams.

If you see pie in the sky, remember some of the world’s top companies use emotion-driven ideas and inspirations to touch lives and build share. Companies with incredible values, big dreams, relentless performance ethics. They include Toyota and Procter & Gamble who I work with.

This Love / Respect axis yesterday positions anything, including human progress. It translates corporate responsibility into universal opportunity.


  • Low Respect / Low Love – commodities, low value ideas.
  • High Respect / Low Love – Business today. Business as usual. It manifests as the capitalism of exclusion.
  • Low Respect / High Love – Fads, infatuations. Reality TV. Martha. Parmallat promises. Enronic bequests.
  • High Respect / High Love – New Ideas. New stories. New world. From microfinance to carbon trades, this is the capitalism of inclusion. Where consumption and happiness go on the level. Where Adam Smith and Florence Nightingale get it on.

The reward for inspiring this zone is loyalty beyond reason.

We call them Lovemarks

When asked to define happiness, philosopher Daniel Dennett said: “The secret is to find something bigger than yourself and devote your life to it.” That’s our challenge.

The world is a startling proposition. North Korea spends 22 billion, most of its GDP, on its military. US military expenditure is approaching a trillion. Three quarters of Japanese kids read comics. The US has more private cars than licensed drivers. Half of Uganda is under 15. If recent Pentagon reports mean anything, the animated movie Ice Age could be a documentary.

Business co-exists with many forces it can’t control. Through it all I remain convinced of one thing. Love and inspiration through enterprise can light up the global house.

Microsoft, Apple, Intel and their kind have enabled unimagined prosperity. The challenge now is to gear enterprise towards 2.8 billion people on under $2 a day. And as the global consumer class expands, to ensure it does so within a sustainable model.

We are the global stewards of this model of transformation. We stand or fall with it, and so does humanity. Trust and respect in business won’t do it. Human enterprise must leap over brands. Towards Lovemarks.

Lovemarks are Owned by Consumers

As interdependence increases, so will market self-correction of exclusive behavior. The road to the new world is paved with ethics and responsibility. It will be built by unbounded opportunity.

  • Opportunity to co-create value with consumers.
  • Opportunity to build bridges between sectors.
  • Opportunity to discover markets in forsaken places.
  • Opportunity to enchant a disillusioned world.

Our client Procter & Gamble is the Indiana Jones of market adventurers. They mine inspiration not gold. They explore, test and inspire bottom markets with the power of ideas.

Three million people a year die from diarrhea. 1.2 billion are without safe drinking water. Instinct is the Lance Armstrong of revenue cycles – big on heart. P&G has put instinct into water purification. They are chasing pyramid-base breakthroughs that touch lives and build business.

  • In developing a point-of-use purification product, the inspiration was cellular technology – no infrastructure.
  • The partner was the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

P&G reverse-engineered municipal water treatment. They sacheted it into an in-home water treatment system. Consumers needed it cheap and wanted a visible safety signal. P&G delivered. They are working the margins of possibility. They are working with NGOs from Guatemala to Morocco, exploring new distribution systems.

Smart product development, distribution and marketing can do extraordinary things.

A P&G rinse aid in test in the Philippines reduces water needed for a wash by 50 percent. Women carry half as many buckets of water from the river, have cleaner clothes and extra hours for care and education. Unleash the power of ideas and nothing is impossible.

Inspiration transforms. Business needs an Inspirational Dream. My experience is that companies with Inspirational Dreams and people continuously win. Inspirational Dreams attract the best of the best, including social entrepreneurs. As Bill Gates says: “When people come to work, they have to be connected to a dream.”

Toyota and Procter & Gamble are exemplars. Both are experiencing startling growth. P&G’s mantra is touch and improve life. They have a dream to create and build brands people love. Toyota has lived the American Dream. They now talk about making cars that are loved everywhere. The quantum question facing every CEO is this: do I want my organization to be loathed, liked or loved?

Sustainable enterprises uplift lives. I work this belief as a Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at universities in New Zealand, Ireland and England. We aim to double the double bottom line.

Here is the quadruple bottom line that will create and sustain Lovemarks in a mass consumption reality:

First, THE WINNING ZONE – economic abundance. To be sustainable as an enterprise – to create jobs and abundance – you must win and keep winning.
Second, PLANET HOME – environment for future generations. Not just light footprints. Revolutions in hybrid motion like the new Toyota Prius.
Third, FAMILY OF ONE – social wellbeing, social entrepreneurship. The fight against poverty, abuse, violence, hunger, homelessness, dysfunction.
Fourth SAFE HANDS – ethical practice. A fundamental shift in corporate behavior. It is not the job of social entrepreneurs to save the world. It is the job of all entrepreneurs. It is our job.

The Premium Territory is now Return on Involvement

That means stepping down the ladder, taking risks, nourishing and networking social enterprise. In a world compressed to 100 people, one person has a college education. 100 have world-changing potential that inspiration can unleash.

We have to get R&D into the developing world, and spin-off local R&D programs. Of the little R&D in the developing world, 77% of multinational corporation R&D takes place in four countries: Brazil, Mexico, Singapore and Taiwan.

Like all things human, business is in the end an emotional connection. Deep emotional connections last forever. It remains for business to inspire them.

How to Win in the Age of Now


Spanning creativity, leadership and execution, Kevin Roberts’ presentation to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Wellington Chapter is an inspirational primer in: Wanting to Win, Ways to Win Now and Ways to Keep Winning – the secrets of Peak Performance so that winning becomes a habit.

Up, Up and Away – Rotary Newmarket


Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, talks to the Newmarket Rotary Club about Winning in the Age of Now, and how to turn a brand into an irresistible Lovemark for the next generation.

Start Me Up


Kevin Roberts gives keynote speech at the 6th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum “The Entrepreneurship Imperative” held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, sharing three ways to win in the region.

Set Fire To The Rain


In this presentation to Spotlight On Lancaster at Lancaster University, Kevin Roberts talks about enabling, energizing and activating creative partnerships and achieving Vibrant, Crazy, Unreal and Astounding impact.

Brighter Than Sunshine


Presenting to AAC Saatchi & Saatchi in Bermuda, Kevin Roberts shares three key ideas on connecting people around ideas that create Loyalty Beyond Reason.

Magic Time


In this presentation to EmoDay in Amsterdam, Kevin Roberts shares five key ideas on emotional innovations and creating Lovemarks.

Just Can’t Get Enough


Presenting to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education in Oxfordshire, Kevin Roberts presents three ideas on creating Loyalty Beyond Reason and creating frameworks for development discussions.