The pioneers


The list of Pioneers is a collection of people and companies that we think lead the field of business, showing a more relevant way that the traditional one. We are inspired by all of them in different ways and we think they are pioneering the field in ways we all can and should learn from. 

Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker is the main reason why our own purpose is related to being useful. Years ago, at a conference in New York City a story about Peter Drucker was shared by Jim Collins. In a conversation between those two Peter Drucker inspired and challenged Jim Collins to consider focusing less on his individual success and more on how to be useful beyond himself. Being useful goes beyond yourself and is a different and larger playing field with even more opportunities to make a real contribution to a more relevant and sustainable world.  

Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel is definitely a pioneer in the field of business and leadership, and he will upgrade your ways of understanding those elements if you read his books, see his video and follow his relentless work. He is a challenger and will provide you with a different and mor relevant playbook than the classical and traditional one. Read his book “The Future of Management”.  

Henrik Poulsen

Former CEO of the renewable energy company Orsted and the key figure in making one of the most impressive business transformations you’ll be able to find. He is one of the most clear and consistent CEOs you’ll find, and he is a true pioneer in spending most of the time on the desired impact, instead of all of the time on the company itself.  

Yvon Chouinard

Founder of Patagonia and a lighthouse in business and leadership. He is one of the best examples in turning ideas about business into practice and have built a fantastic company. Hands down one of our biggest heroes. Read his book “Let my people go surfing”.  

Fred Kofman

We met Fred Kofman years ago when he was still working at LinkedIn in a session about business and leadership. He blew our minds in 10 different ways with his deep consciousness about the purpose of business and the operational ways of putting those practices into play. Read his book “The Meaning Revolution”. One of the very best and most relevant in the market.

Hubert Joly

Former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy contributing to an impressive purpose turnaround and making the company more relevant through the deliberate practices of profit and purpose combined. His knowledge and ways of working with business is something for everyone to pay attention to. Read his book “The Heart of Business”.  

Paul Polman

Former Procter & Gamble president, CFO at Nestlé and CEO at Unilever, showing how to upgrade a company from the inside and turning it into a commercial purpose-driven engine. Read his book: “Net Positive”.

to watch

Being useful as a company is not about being perfect and doing everything right, but it is making very frank and deliberate business choices and do all you can to deliver. All companies do that in different ways but the clarity in how to deliver on the purpose – and then execute on do it – is what makes a company relevant now. 

Here you have a list of companies to watch. Not because that everything they do is excellent, but because they are very conscious in what they are about, how to solve the problem(s) they find relevant and how to activate their purpose in a profitable way.

A superstar company that all companies in the world can learn something from. Regardless of the nature of your company or what industry you are on, Patagonia can teach you valuable lessons in how to run a relevant business. 

Tesla is a great example of a company being very aware about the contribution they want to make in the world and how to get there. They are very determinant in they efforts and have upgraded and entire industry through this purpose-driven focus and practice.  

One of the most sustainable companies in the world working in the renewable energy business. They are a great example in how to redefine who you are as a company, see a clear problem in the world and then go all in to solve it.  

We have previously visited Morningstar and was amazed in how clear and simple they run their company – all pointing in one inspiring direction. At Morningstar you don’t report to a manager. You only report to the plants in this cool company.  

Already a pioneer despite being a younger company and really one to watch going forward, because they’ve really figured out what they are all about. Airbnb are very good at looking out in the world, using their purpose as a lens, backed up by specific business decision and action.   

One of the most relevant banks in Denmark and clearly driven by a core purpose in everything they do (and they do it well). You’ll enjoy their transparency and hardcore gates to become a customer, which is exactly how it should be. A focused company wants to attract people and other companies that believe in what they believe in. That is what you get with Merkur 

The outdoor company is on a very interesting journey always focusing on what is relevant outside of the company first and trying to solve real problems, for real people, in the real world. They are an excellent example in how easy it is to communicate and interact when you have your priorities in order.  

A pioneering company showing how to move from a product orientated business approach, to a clear purpose-driven business approach. Moving the attention from products to purpose makes a company much more relevant and more business opportunities will come. Take a look at the way Grundfos is doing just that and translate it into your own company. 

A company like no other companies that are here to change business for good. In our work we use the Sir Richard Branson sentence ‘Up against conventions’ as a benchmark when decoding companies purpose, because it’s so clear and simple at the same time.