back arrowPurpose 360

Thinking Like a Toddler with Paul Lindley

48:19

Episode description

Many of our guests are on a journey to social purpose – developing it, finding it, evolving it. What’s rarer are the companies that are founded for a purpose; built from day one to address an urgent social need.

Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley created his baby food company, Ella’s Kitchen, to give babies a healthy start in life – improving their lives and helping them develop a healthy relationship with food. That may not sound unique, but Lindley’s success can be attributed to his approach: to “put children right at the heart of the company and build everything around them.”

Further, Lindley adopted a toddler’s way of thinking in building and evolving his business. Between ages 3 – 5, 98% of children think divergently, concentrating on one thing, then another, then another, in a non-linear pattern. Divergent thinking is a measure of creativity. By the time those children mature to 25 years old, however, only 2% think divergently. “I argue that we should grow down more to think like that again,” Lindley says. Toddlers are full of self-confidence, ambition, free thinking, imagination, and determination – traits that today’s leaders would do well to embody.

Lindley’s thriving business – which became the UK’s leading baby food brand – went far beyond its products in addressing a social issue. With Ella’s Kitchen, Paul created a platform for the issue of early childhood nutrition, doubling down on critical moments in a child’s development such as the weaning period. The brand and its founder are vocal advocates for childhood nutrition and the healthy development of toddlers, creating reports, commissioning reviews of existing research, convening expert roundtables, introducing legislation to Parliament, implementing pilot programs, and forming coalitions to drive impact.
Lindley has since sold Ella’s Kitchen, but his work is far from over. He serves on the board of Toast Ale, which makes beer out of bread that would be wasted; helped launch Equity for Good, where investors dedicate their successful investments to social impact projects; serves as trustee and board member for Sesame Workshop to create educational experiences for children across the globe; and a lot more.

What Lindley’s ventures have in common is their drive to unearth new ways to approach old problems. “What drives me every day is climbing new mountains and not believing that the world is limited. It is unlimited.”

Here are a few of our favorite insights from Paul Lindley:

  • Focus on the people your business serves. “The heart of business is people. It’s not money. Understanding what motivates people to invest in you, or to work for you, or to buy from you is the trick to a successful business.”
  • Balance the long- and short-term. Ella’s Kitchen provides nutritious options for children and their parents. But Lindley’s company also exists to support a thriving society: “I started my own business because I had an idea that I thought society could benefit from, in that I found a way that I thought children could eat better, therefore be healthier, therefore be happier, therefore contribute to our society better as adults.”
  • Trust starts from inside the company. Building trust with stakeholders is table stakes. But building internal trust in a company’s mission, vision, or purpose is just as important – if not more. “Any brand works from the inside out,” and having trust in your company and its purpose builds trust with external stakeholders.
  • Invite others into your mission. Ella’s was a relatively small, if not mighty, voice in its advocacy efforts. To amplify and accelerate impact, Lindley challenged a range of stakeholders to join in his advocacy efforts – including government, the food industry, society, parents, and even children.

Resources + links

episodes iconMore Episodes

Inspiration Through Disruption: #OptOutside with REI’s Alex Thompson

November 13th, 2018

36:47
Welcome to Purpose 360. We’re thrilled to make our debut, and even more so because our first guest is celebrating the fourth anniversary of one of …

Multi-Generational Leadership for Good with Laura Kohler

November 20th, 2018

30:16

True to our name, at Purpose 360 we believe purpose must be embedded throughout an organization to maximize impact. Kohler takes this ethos a step further – integrating the company and its purpose with the world.

Laura …

Nurturing a Life-Changing Brand with Unilever's Kathleen Dunlop

November 27th, 2018

31:27

With a mandate to “do good” from one of the world’s largest companies, the team behind the Vaseline brand set out to find their eponymous product’s …

Brands That Take A Stand with Unilever's Kathleen Dunlop

December 4th, 2018

20:16

How do you find your brand’s super power? Kathleen Dunlop, Global Brand VP at Unilever, is back to share the story behind the brand's efforts to take a stand in the market and beyond.

With a mandate to “do good” from …

Leadership Through Focus — New York Life Foundation President Heather Nesle

December 11th, 2018

40:09

Pets, education, and community parks – these are feel-good social impact efforts that brands like to support. Rightly so, as they are worthy efforts that are easy to talk about. Yet, not all companies align most …

Life's Good: Aligning with an Authentic Issue

December 18th, 2018

38:35

LG’s “Life’s Good” tagline is well known, but few people can describe what “Life’s Good” really means. Two years ago, LG started a journey to redefine “Life’s Good” through social purpose, turning a marketing strapline …

‘Tis the Season for Purpose

December 27th, 2018

4:21

Carol and Chris wish listeners a purposeful holiday season and a hint at what’s to come in 2019.

Growing a transparent and authentic social purpose with ScottsMiracle-Gro

January 22nd, 2019

43:01

Gardening is not about immediate success or instant gratification. The same can be said about social purpose.

As a company for gardeners, ScottsMiracle-Gro has a succinct purpose: “helping people express themselves on …

How LIXIL’s SATO Toilet Helped Unite a $17 Billion Company

January 29th, 2019

48:22

Let’s talk about toilets.

One in three people around the world lack basic sanitation. Of that 2.3 billion people, nearly 892 million relieve themselves in outside spaces.  Beyond the obvious health dangers (nearly 800 …

How a clamshell launched McDonald’s purpose journey

February 5th, 2019

39:18

McDonald’s serves 70 million people every day, worldwide. As one of the world’s most visible brands, McDonald’s has both an obligation and …

Panera puts purpose where its mouth is

February 12th, 2019

32:03

During his time at Panera, Jonathan Yohannan, former Vice President, Public Relations*, saw the company’s shift to an all-clean menu. No preservatives. No antibiotics. No artificial ingredients.

Just clean food. Food as …

Revisiting the purpose journey

February 19th, 2019

24:31

Purpose 360 is about inspiring and empowering the purpose leaders of today and tomorrow. More than that, we’re committed to giving listeners actionable insights they can apply day-to-day along their purpose journey, and …

Finding an organic purpose with Gary Hirshberg

February 26th, 2019

49:14

Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and Chief Organic Optimist at Stonyfield Organic, started his business with seven cows and funding from a group of …

Making flying matter with Alaska Airlines’ Kirk Myers

March 5th, 2019

40:10

Alaska Airlines is serious about sustainability. For the past two years, the airline has ranked ^1 for North American aviation on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), a coveted honor.

To Alaska Airlines, …

Timberland’s Earthkeepers lace up for global sustainability

March 19th, 2019

45:51

Timberland is well known for its Yellow Boot. You know the one—chunky sole, nubuck upper, black leather collar. It’s a design that has weathered …

Persistence, partnership and passion help women Go Red

March 26th, 2019

43:55

The American Heart Association (AHA) launched its Go Red for Women campaign 15 years ago when Kathy Rogers, AHA’s EVP for the Western States Affiliates, was charged with creating a consumer- and patient-facing campaign …

The Aflac Duck goes to Austin! Stories of Impact at SxSW

April 4th, 2019

40:11

Carol tagged along with her roving reporter — My Special Aflac Duck — to South by Southwest in Austin earlier this month. Together, they celebrated …

Connecting the Salesforce “Ohana” through a pioneering model

April 9th, 2019

42:24

Are you tapping every opportunity to draw power from your organizational culture? In this episode, Henk Campher, VP Brand and Communications at …

Exploring United Way Worldwide’s digital disruption

April 16th, 2019

49:08

United Way isn’t new—but it’s creating a new way for NGOs to engage with people around the world through technology.

William Browning, United Way …

Saving the Earth, one load at a time

April 23rd, 2019

32:52

This Earth Day, we’re joined by Jonathan Propper, Founder and CEO of Dropps. He’s the maverick behind the original laundry pod, and has guided Dropps to a number of firsts, including eliminating detergent dyes and …

More than a quack: the story behind Aflac’s big heart

April 30th, 2019

44:48

You probably know the Aflac Duck, but do you know the company behind it? Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Aflac’s SVP, Chief ESG and Communications Officer, joined Purpose 360 to share how Aflac deftly manages reputation in …

CVS Health follows a profound purpose prescription

May 7th, 2019

50:26

Would you sacrifice more than a billion dollars in sales to do the right thing for people’s health and wellness? That’s the decision CVS Health made …

Pete and Gerry’s wants you to believe in what you buy

May 28th, 2019

45:04

Happy chickens are Pete and Gerry’s north star.

You’ve likely seen the organic egg brand in your local supermarket dairy aisle. And if you haven’t tried the eggs, add them to your shopping list.

Pete and Gerry’s, …

Reshaping the Role of Business at CECP

June 11th, 2019

26:25

Roving reporter Carol Cone spoke with leaders in social purpose at the CECP (Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose) Summit last month. A global …

General Motors is moving humanity forward

June 25th, 2019

52:09

Zero Zero Zero: zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion. This profound goal is CEO Mary Barra’s approach to reinventing General Motors for …

Johnson & Johnson is changing the trajectory of human health

July 17th, 2019

52:23

Since 1943, global health powerhouse Johnson & Johnson has been guided by a simple credo. You wouldn’t think that something etched in stone …

Making Capitalism More “JUST”: Martin Whittaker of JUST Capital shares the organization's bold vision to reshape how corporate America works

July 30th, 2019

43:06

The world needs more just companies. But what makes a company “just”?

JUST Capital is an NGO working to help corporations evolve their business and …

Purpose Makes Community Possible at US Bank

August 13th, 2019

42:54

570 hours per day.

That’s the number of hours US Bank employees volunteered, daily, in their communities last year. US Bank’s 74,000 employees don’t …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store