What is your company’s core reason for being, and where can you have a unique, positive impact on society? Now more than ever, you need good answers to these questions.
Most companies focus on making profits rather than being distracted by social responsibility. Even though the best-selling ideas came mostly from social needs.
So how do we deliver a sense of purpose across a wide range of environmental, social, and governance priorities? Are we going too far beyond our core mandate? Does it mean we’ll lose focus on bottom-line results? Will transparency expose painful tensions better left unexamined?
Apparently, there are no easy answers to these questions
Yet when companies fully leverage their scale to benefit society, the impact can be extraordinary. The power of purpose is evident as the world fights the urgent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of companies doubling down on their purpose (such as the “Safeguard program” Sigma Business planning & execution launched during the pandemic). Businesses also have an opportunity, and an obligation, to engage in the urgent needs of our society.
It seems that there is a frustratingly simple reason why business leaders have struggled to square all these circles with coherent statements and credible actions: it’s difficult to solve, simultaneously, for the interests of employees, communities, suppliers, the environment, customers, and shareholders. It is hard to align business and societal goals.
As there aren’t complete answers to these difficult questions yet. here are the four steps for moving ahead and clarifying how a company’s purpose connects with its core from McKinsey & Company the famous American management consulting firm.
- Get real: Create a baseline from your stakeholders’ perspectives
- connect purpose with your company’s core.
- Organize to keep purpose at the top of everyone’s mind, every day.
- Measure what you can, and learn from what you measure.
Above all, pushing your company to define and live its purpose consistently, means that you have a unique impact to deliver.
– (McKinsey & Company, 2020)