The Evolution of Purpose
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How Business Can and Should Solve Social Problems

How Business Can and Should Solve Social Problems | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

"The coronavirus crisis is a major and imminent social problem.  But, unfortunately, it’s far from the only social problem that the world in 2020 faces.  Climate change, income inequality, population growth, resource usage, the displacement of workers through automation – the list is endless. Who should solve these social problems? We typically look to governments …

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance presents rigorous evidence that pie-growing creates profit for investors and value for society compared to pie-splitting. In his book, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit, Alex argues that by investing in stakeholders, a company grows the investor pie, ultimately benefiting both investors and society. To grow the pie, companies must ask a fundamental question: “how is the world a better place by our being here?”

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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Higher Purpose and Data Privacy Rise in Importance in 2020 Global Trends Report

Higher Purpose and Data Privacy Rise in Importance in 2020 Global Trends Report | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

Reputation Institute’s third annual report about the trends affecting reputation in 2020 identified 10 global priorities that are shaping reputation and impacting businesses this year. Those trends include higher purpose, data privacy, climate change, influencers, and CEO activism.

 

Of the trends that have been ranked each of the past three years, only two are gaining importance: higher purpose and data privacy.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

Here's more data on how important #Purpose is to corporations - this time from the Reputation Institute who run the RepTrak surveys geared toward Corporate Communications specialists. 

 

Part of the challenge for Corporate Communications specialists is that Purpose is a complex thing to navigate in an authentic way.  After all it goes to the very core of why you exist.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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The Davos Manifesto: Towards a better kind of capitalism

The Davos Manifesto: Towards a better kind of capitalism | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

At the launch of the World Economic Forum in Davos, founder Professor Klaus Schwab calls for the world to coalesce around a different form of capitalism - stakeholder capitalism.

 

The Davos Manifesto is the World Economic Forum's view of 'stakeholder capitalism' and the best response to today's social and environmental challenges.

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

That people are calling for a change in the system in which we operate is not new.  That increasing numbers of business leaders should do so, such as Larry Fink at Blackstone, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, the US Business Roundtable and now Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum is what's different.

 

The WEF's rallying cry behind a more enlightened and broader view of capitalism calls for companies to be accountable to a wider group of stakeholders (not just shareholders).  It calls for a restructuring of executive pay to recognise this. It that states that the role of a company is to serve society and that global companies need to appreciate that they are stakeholders and stewards of our future - they have a duty to address societal challenges through their activities and collaborate to achieve success.

 

For us to be successful as a society in making this transition, we need great Systems Leaders who can understand the bigger picture and operate in the complexity, finding the levers to success.  We also need great ways to develop Systems Leadership that enables large numbers of people to be able to embody the kind of thinking and behaviour required that will create these shifts and reinforce lasting change.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World 

 

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3 tips for being a better leader at work

3 tips for being a better leader at work | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

Becoming a better leader calls for 3 critical behaviours: as outlined by Jill Ader, Chairwoman, Egon Zehnder. Curiosity which means an appetite to ask great questions and listen for the answers about yourself, others, situations and the world: tapping into your capabilities for adaptability, flexibility, expressiveness, empathy and intuition; as well as having an understanding your purpose. 

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Having a deeper clarity on one ‘s own values and those that drive an organization provides the impetus to navigate uncertain times. What’s more, purpose-driven organizations are realising the benefits of supporting their teams find purpose in their work: a more engaged workforce, better team effectiveness, a sense of organizational pride and better retention.

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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What Can the World’s Largest Refugee Camp Teach Us About the Meaning of Work? - HBS Working Knowledge - Harvard Business School

What Can the World’s Largest Refugee Camp Teach Us About the Meaning of Work? - HBS Working Knowledge - Harvard Business School | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

A refugee camp is one of the seemigly unusual places to challenge our thinking around the meaning of work and the role businesses can play in helping to address humanitarian crises. According to research by Reshmaan N. Hussam who teaches the course Business, Government and the International Economy to MBA students at Harvard Business School, "almost 1 million Rohingya refugees are sinking deeper into despair while sitting idle in a camp they can’t easily leave. But the opportunity to work might provide a resource more scarce than cash: hope." She continues to suggest that "work means much more than just an income. It gives you a sense of identity, of purpose, of a larger goal. It gives you an opportunity to build a social life.”

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

When we say that businesses can be a force for good, then we can be bold enough to explore the possibilities of what this means in preventing and addressing humanitarian crises. Traditionally, governments and not-for-profit organizations have been on the forefront of helping those displaced by conflict and natural disasters. This HBS article suggests that businesses too can play a role in integrating these vulnerable individuals through employment. Work gives more than an income, it gives hope, it gives purpose. In the end, businesses win, the world wins, we all win!

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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Untapping your company’s purpose potential

Untapping your company’s purpose potential | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

We live in an age where companies and brands with a compelling sense of purpose seem to have a significant competitive advantage. I read articles every day about how purpose-led companies outperform those that are not.

Sally Brownbill's insight:

For Emerging World, Purpose is the guiding strategy and defined role that an organisation has in taking on the challenges we all face in the rapidly changing world. It enables an organisation not only to achieve individual success but to be connected to systemic issues that they positively impact through innovative activity.

 

This recent blog by Matthew Farmer looks at how companies can capitalise on the purpose through immersive experiences.

 

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Indian lawmakers propose CSR non-compliance should be a civil offence

Indian lawmakers propose CSR non-compliance should be a civil offence | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

Laws in India state that companies must spend 2% of their profit on CSR activities.  However, attempts to enforce such a policy effectively have proven to be problematic.  This move is the latest development by the newly elected Indian government to support the law though legislation.  Although this is arguably a downgrade on previous policy which stated that failure to comply was a penal offence punishable with a jail term.  

Matthew Farmer's insight:

I am travelling to India later this week to facilitate an immersive leadership program for Salesforce.  The program will involve senior leaders working with Indian non-profits and so I am particularly interested in the India CSR law, which stipulates that 2% of corporate profits go toward funding non-profit activity. 

 

It is the only country I know of that has such a law and while on the face of it, it sounds like a great idea for mobilising corporate resources to tackle the country's social issues, the policy has proved troublesome.  Enforcing the policy has been tricky and some companies have found 'interesting' projects to put the money into that are not perhaps in the spirit that the law intended.

 

It has not helped that some of not-for-profits that can be funded are government associated entities, which makes things open to the possibility of corruption.  However, another challenge is just how far 'at arms length' you should be with your investment.  Investing in projects too close to your business may not be philanthropic enough and simply lead to subsidising existing business activities - too far away and there may be no strategic alignment and the creation of a string of unsustainable pet projects.  I already heard the name nickname 'Chairman's tax' being given to the law because money can often end up in a project that the senior leadership is personally interested in but few others in the organisation.

 

Nonetheless, the law has led to a lot of money becoming available to good Indian not-for-profits to fund their activities and I'm looking forward to understanding more about how they are leveraging the resources to do important work.  If anyone has any other information about how other companies legislate for this kind of thing beyond tax incentives, I'd love to hear them.

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He who has a ‘why' to live can bear almost any ‘how' - Why Purpose Is The New Competitive Advantage

He who has a ‘why' to live can bear almost any ‘how' - Why Purpose Is The New Competitive Advantage | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

There is a movement where employees want a job that gives them a sense of purpose and customers want to buy from companies whose brands are based on values that they identify with. Here's why purpose has become a powerful force giving companies a competitive advantage.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

It was the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche who considered that "He who has a ‘why' to live can bear almost any ‘how.'"

 

It is perhaps the earliest, but one of many references in this article that explains why 'Purpose' is such an important consideration for companies.  The article also cites increasing amounts of research  showing that companies with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to have better retention, higher productivity, reach more customers and drive higher profits.

 

That makes it very attractive to companies but the catch is that it needs to be authentic.  When humans ask 'why?', they can be good critical evaluators and see through the hype - Nietszche would have been proud.

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Social Purpose Business Defined

Social Purpose Business Defined | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

This is a great overview from the Social Purpose Institute at United Way about what defines purpose driven businesses.  It explores the difference between Purpose and Social Purpose and helps to distinguish Mission from Purpose also outlining what Purpose in not.

 

Social purpose companies can certainly have a profit motive but a compelling social should transcend this.  For these companies making money should be more of a consequence of achieving positive social impact  than the raison d'etre.

Emerging World's insight:

There is a lot of talk about purpose driven businesses these days.  As people search for meaning in their lives and through their work, the question of, 'Why do I do what I do?', becomes more important.

 

Some companies struggle to define a compelling purpose that all their stakeholders can buy into.  Others can struggle to bring heir purpose to life for their employees and it remains a corporate statement written on a document somewhere (or if you're lucky written in nice big letters in a meeting room or corridor in company HQ).  These companies have massive Untapped Purpose Potential.

 

Purpose should be something galvanizing than motivates and drives people.  It should be visceral, emotional and compelling

 

If you can tap into this, your company and its culture will thrive.

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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Is this the end of Corporate Social Responsibility? And the Beginning of Something Even Bigger?

Is this the end of Corporate Social Responsibility? And the Beginning of Something Even Bigger? | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

Recent research commissioned by the Canadian government suggests that social responsibility (CSR) doesn’t cut it any more.

 

In fact, leader companies are putting distance between themselves and this approach. They don’t find it to be relevant to their growth or business models.

 

Instead almost half the companies indicated they have, or were planning to, adopt a social purpose as the reason they exist and to build their social purpose into everything the company does.

 

It hasn’t always been this way. From the experience of these social purpose companies, this shift away from CSR has accelerated over the past five years. The companies reveal the main shifts have included a transition from ad hoc, transactional and incremental approaches to those which are strategic, holistic, social purpose-driven and transformational.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

Companies are increasingly questioning why they exist. The companies that will be truly successful in the future war for talent (and ultimately fro customers) are those that have a compelling social purpose.

 

This research shows how this change is already taking place with companies moving from just how they do business (CSR) to why they do business (Purpose).

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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Why The World’s Most Successful Brands Place Purpose At The Heart Of Their Business Strategy

Why The World’s Most Successful Brands Place Purpose At The Heart Of Their Business Strategy | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
Brand purpose is not just another trendy marketing term, but a fundamental part of every brand’s core identity.
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BlackRock Co-Founder; Who Should Run The Corporation?

BlackRock Co-Founder; Who Should Run The Corporation? | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
So give the other historical perspective what went wrong with WorldCom and Enron.BP you know recently Wells Fargo mean or all...
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How to improve Internal Communications

How to improve Internal Communications | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
Tom Haak, director of the HR Trend Institute, was interviewed by Smarp about how to improve internal communications in the workplace.
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The Root Cause Of Today’s Obsession With Corporate Purpose

The Root Cause Of Today’s Obsession With Corporate Purpose | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

This Forbes article by Nell Derick Debevoise takes us back in time to create an understanding of coroprate purpose and it importance today. What's useful is to look at the "increasing integration of our work in our lives" and how that "leads us to hold higher expectations of the companies we work for and buy from"

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

People across age groups are demanding that their organizations operate purposefully. Fuelled by the ever-blurry lines between work and life and a confluence of personal and organizational values, purpose, ambition and identity, purpose has become an increasingly fundamental conversation. Borrowing from Henna Inam’s description, purpose feeds the soul of the organization and keeps those who work in organizations energized, powerful, and resilient in the face of a rapidly changing world. It is what people need if they are to deeply engage in the work they are doing, as if it was their life calling.

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

 

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Welcome to the Decade Ahead:  Prescient Practicality for 2020 and beyond

Welcome to the Decade Ahead:  Prescient Practicality for 2020 and beyond | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
There is an old Chinese saying, ‘May you live in interesting times’ When someone said that to you, it was viewed as both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because interesting times meant change, volatility and uncertainty which invoke adaptation, transformation and a reaching beyond the existing status quo into new found heights. A…
jamie's insight:

As we head into another decade, it is a time to reflect on where are heading. The next 10yrs will be defined by disruption. Across our work lives, our home lives and where we live; multiple social and environmental challenges and technological advances will test us in many ways. It is a time for corporations to rapidly shift the way they think and act. We need them to become centres for rebalance, regeneration and radical solutions. 

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How To Be Happier And More Purposeful

How To Be Happier And More Purposeful | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

IESE Business School´s Conor Neill shares the seven mindsets for a happier and more purposeful life. According to David Maister,  Harvard Professor  "Success is enjoying your life. If you don’t enjoy what you do, the company of the people you do it with, and the impact you are making in the world… it cannot be considered success.

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

Purpose and happiness are intertwined. Purpose and success are intertwined. Success and happiness are intertwined. 

A purposeful organization is I believe the sum total of a purposeful value lived out by its people. What is helpful towards becoming a more purposeful organization or individual is to start off by making a shift in thinking. This article points out a couple of shift ideas and one that I find interesting is the shift from a goals-based focus to a process-based focus. Small choices or actions over time produce the desired big results!

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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4 ways to build businesses that put people and planet over profits

4 ways to build businesses that put people and planet over profits | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

"No longer is merely making money a sufficient corporate purpose; rather, businesses must “share a fundamental commitment to all of their stakeholders,” including customers, workers, suppliers and the broader communities within which they operate" 

Doreen Wanja Mutero's insight:

How can we build business for good? This is increasingly becoming a fundamental question in today's complex world where not only is stakeholder value important for the business but also its impact in the wider ecosystem. Businesses are beginning to see the need to take a more wholistic view of their corporate purpose and as discussed in this World Economic Forum article, making a lasting committment to change will require a significant shift at the very core of how businesses operate.

 

Doreen Mutero

Emerging World

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Launch of new report on Principles for Purposeful Business concludes UK has particularly extreme form of capitalism

Launch of new report on Principles for Purposeful Business concludes UK has particularly extreme form of capitalism | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

The BBC reports on the launch of a new report from the British Academy on the Future of the Corporation entitled Principles for Purposeful Business.  We urgently need to rethink the role of business in society, says the it's author Colin Mayer of the British Academy.

 

One of his findings is that the UK has particularly extreme form of capitalism.  "Most ownership in the UK is in the hands of a large number of institutional investors" reports Mayer, "none of which have a significant controlling shareholding in our largest companies".

 

He goes on to argue that, "the state has an important part to play. But we should think about the state in a more imaginative way, as to how it can promote successful business, how it can reform the nature of business in society."

 

This will require strong government and positive public will.

Matthew Farmer's insight:

Today sees the launch of of a new report from the British Academy on the Future of the Corporation entitled Principles for Purposeful Business which proposes a new formula for corporate purpose: "to profitably solve problems of people and planet, and not profit from causing problems."

 

As the BBC says, purpose is not going to go away anytime soon. But it's also interesting to think about what the role of the state should be and what will be required on companies like Mars that are largely in private ownership and have more freedom to make choices than publicly listed companies.

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To Rediscover the Purpose of Business, Look to Its Origins

Is business a legal entity to generate profits? Or something else? (Clue: it’s something else)
jamie's insight:

A great article about why business should exist. The maximising-profit at all costs model is clearly broken, educating and training those in business to truly understand and deliver real Purpose needs help and Immersion has a great role to play in that. 

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America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation – Fortune

America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation – Fortune | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
jamie's insight:

The future direction of big business is starting to take shape. No longer will it be maximising profit at all costs nor CSR tokenism, it won't even be about 'doing good'. The future of business will reshape capitalism wholeheartedly because the current model has been shown to be woefully underserving to the majority of people on the planet and the planet itself. It's a long road to change with huge inertia but change will happen; through necessity or leadership. This article shows that leadership might be emerging and is a great sign of hope.

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Using Story to Change Systems

Using Story to Change Systems | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
We need to develop new processes of collective storytelling across sectors to navigate turbulent times and foster systems change.
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Jamie Burdett

Emerging World

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The Future of Your Workplace Depends on Your Purpose

The Future of Your Workplace Depends on Your Purpose | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it

According to Gallup's latest book, It's the Manager, , to change a culture, leaders must do the following:

1. Identify your organization's purpose and brand.

The CEO, CHRO and executive committee need to clearly identify the organization's purpose -- why they are in business -- and how they want the brand to be perceived by applicants, employees and customers. Purpose and brand set the stage for everything else. Top executives need to be aligned, consistent and committed to the purpose and brand. That is the starting point for bringing teams together and effective decision-making.

2. Audit all programs and communications.

This includes human capital practices, performance management, values and rituals, and team structures for alignment and consistency with the organization's purpose and brand. Gallup has found that this can be a quick process and should be done annually.

3. Shift your managers' mindsets from being a boss to being a coach.

The culture you want can only be implemented by your best managers. A great culture is one of the few things an organization can't buy. Managers will make or break your culture change, for good or ill. By repositioning your managers from boss to coach, your organization will increase employee engagement, improve performance, and start to see the cultural shift you desire.

 

The engine of purpose-focused culture change takes a great deal of fuel, and it needs to come from the top. But once leaders have the machine running, the measurement and management of culture becomes vastly less difficult.

.

Emerging World's insight:

In his annual letter to the leaders of companies that his asset management firm invests in, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote, "Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose -- in fact profits and purpose are inextricably linked."

 

Yet in a recent Gallup survey only 27% of employees strongly believe in their company's values, and less than half strongly agree that they know what their organization stands for and what makes it different.

 

As this article states, "Astute leaders increasingly understand the effect purpose has on business outcomes. But purpose can't be limited to just a slogan. To advance, inspire and unite a company, purpose must be actualized in the day-to-day work."

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

 

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CEOs and Strategy: Defining Corporate Purpose –

CEOs and Strategy: Defining Corporate Purpose – | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
My favorite quote is probably: "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat".Sun Tzu - 512 BC    Besides being a favorite of mine, I believe this insight is one that transcends time and is as relevant today as it was over 2,500 years...
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Larry Fink’s Letter To CEOs 2019 – Purpose & Profit

Larry Fink’s Letter To CEOs 2019 – Purpose & Profit | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
Dear CEO, Each year, I write to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of our clients, the majority of whom have decades-long horizons and are planning for retirement. As a fiduciary to these clients, who are the owners of your company, we advocate for practices that we believe will drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability. As we enter 2019, commitment to a long-term approach is more important than ever – the global landscape is increasingly fragile and, as a result, susceptible to short-term behavior by corporations and governments alike. Market uncertainty is pervasive, and confidence is deteriorating. Many see increased risk of a cyclical downturn. Around the world, frustration with years of stagnant wages, the effect of technology on jobs, and uncertainty about the future have fueled popular anger, nationalism, and xenophobia. In response, some of the world’s leading democracies have descended into wrenching political dysfunction, which has exacerbated, rather than quelled, this public frustration. Trust in multilateralism and official institutions is crumbling. Unnerved by fundamental economic changes and the failure of government to provide lasting solutions, society is increasingly looking to companies, both public and private, to address pressing social and economic issues. These issues range from protecting the environment to retirement to gender and racial inequality, among others. Fueled in part by social media, public pressures on corporations build faster and reach further than ever before. In addition to these pressures, companies must navigate the complexities of a late-cycle financial environment – including increased volatility – which can create incentives to maximize short-term returns at the expense of long-term growth. Purpose and Profit: An Inextricable Link I wrote last year that every company needs a framework to navigate this difficult landscape, and that it must begin with a clear embodiment of your company’s purpose in your business model and corporate strategy. Purpose is not a mere tagline or marketing campaign; it is a company’s fundamental reason for being – what it does every day to create value for its stakeholders. Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose – in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked. Profits are essential if a company is to effectively serve all of its stakeholders over time – not only shareholders, but also employees, customers, and communities. Similarly, when a company truly understands and expresses its purpose, it functions with the focus and strategic discipline that drive long-term profitability. Purpose unifies management, employees, and communities. It drives ethical behavior and creates an essential check on actions that go against the best interests of stakeholders. Purpose guides culture, provides a framework for consistent decision-making, and, ultimately, helps sustain long-term financial returns for the shareholders of your company. The World Needs Your Leadership As a CEO myself, I feel firsthand the pressures companies face in today’s polarized environment and the challenges of navigating them. Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues – especially as they see governments failing to do so effectively. As CEOs, we don’t always get it right. And what is appropriate for one company may not be for another. One thing, however, is certain: the world needs your leadership. As divisions continue to deepen, companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity. Companies cannot solve every issue of public importance, but there are many – from retirement to infrastructure to preparing workers for the jobs of the future – that cannot be solved without corporate leadership. Retirement, in particular, is an area where companies must reestablish their traditional leadership role. For much of the 20th Century, it was an element of the social compact in many countries that employers had a responsibility to help workers navigate retirement. In some countries, particularly the United States, the shift to defined contribution plans changed the structure of that responsibility, leaving too many workers unprepared. And nearly all countries are confronting greater longevity and how to pay for it. This lack of preparedness for retirement is fueling enormous anxiety and fear, undermining productivity in the workplace and amplifying populism in the political sphere. In response, companies must embrace a greater responsibility to help workers navigate retirement, lending their expertise and capacity for innovation to solve this immense global challenge. In doing so, companies will create not just a more stable and engaged workforce, but also a more economically secure population in the places where they operate. A New Generation’s Focus on Purpose Companies that fulfill their purpose and responsibilities to stakeholders reap rewards over the long-term. Companies that ignore them stumble and fail. This dynamic is becoming increasingly apparent as the public holds companies to more exacting standards. And it will continue to accelerate as millennials – who today represent 35 percent of the workforce – express new expectations of the companies they work for, buy from, and invest in. Attracting and retaining the best talent increasingly requires a clear expression of purpose. With unemployment improving across the globe, workers, not just shareholders, can and will have a greater say in defining a company’s purpose, priorities, and even the specifics of its business. Over the past year, we have seen some of the world’s most skilled employees stage walkouts and participate in contentious town halls, expressing their perspective on the importance of corporate purpose. This phenomenon will only grow as millennials and even younger generations occupy increasingly senior positions in business. In a recent survey by Deloitte, millennial workers were asked what the primary purpose of businesses should be – 63 percent more of them said “improving society” than said “generating profit.” In the years to come, the sentiments of these generations will drive not only their decisions as employees but also as investors, with the world undergoing the largest transfer of wealth in history: $24 trillion from baby boomers to millennials. As wealth shifts and investing preferences change, environmental, social, and governance issues will be increasingly material to corporate valuations. This is one of the reasons why BlackRock devotes considerable resources to improving the data and analytics for measuring these factors, integrates them across our entire investment platform, and engages with the companies in which we invest on behalf of our clients to better understand your approach to them. BlackRock’s Engagement in 2019 BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship engagement priorities for 2019 are: governance, including your company’s approach to board diversity; corporate strategy and capital allocation; compensation that promotes long-termism; environmental risks and opportunities; and human capital management. These priorities reflect our commitment to engaging around issues that influence a company’s prospects not over the next quarter, but over the long horizons that our clients are planning for. In these engagements, we do not focus on your day-to-day operations, but instead seek to understand your strategy for achieving long-term growth. And as I said last year, for engagements to be productive, they cannot occur only during proxy season when the discussion is about an up-or-down vote on proxy proposals. The best outcomes come from a robust, year-round dialogue. We recognize that companies must often make difficult decisions in the service of larger strategic objectives – for example, whether to pursue certain business lines or markets as stakeholder expectations evolve, or, at times, whether the shape of the company’s workforce needs to change. BlackRock itself, after several years of growing our workforce by 7 percent annually, recently made reductions in order to enable reinvestment in talent and growth over the long term. Clarity of purpose helps companies more effectively make these strategic pivots in the service of long-run goals. Over the past year, our Investment Stewardship team has begun to speak to companies about corporate purpose and how it aligns with culture and corporate strategy, and we have been encouraged by the commitment of companies to engaging with us on this issue. We have no intention of telling companies what their purpose should be – that is the role of your management team and your board of directors. Rather, we seek to understand how a company’s purpose informs its strategy and culture to underpin sustainable financial performance. Details on our approach to engaging on these issues can be found at BlackRock.com/purpose. I remain optimistic about the world’s future and the prospects for investors and companies taking a long-term approach. Our clients depend on that patient approach in order to achieve their most important financial goals. And in turn, the world depends on you to embrace and advocate for a long-term approach in business. At a time of great political and economic disruption, your leadership is indispensable. Sincerely, Larry Fink Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Read this letter on blackrock.com   Eight deadly sins to avoid when creating a banking cover letter Cover letters need to do three things: prove you can do the job, differentiate you from… 2019 Global Investment Outlook By BlackRock We identify three new market themes and update our asset views for 2019. We see… The investment banking cover letter that will get you a job Do you really need to write a cover letter when you’re applying for a job…
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Stop the misappropriation of corporate "purpose" —

Stop the misappropriation of corporate "purpose" — | The Evolution of Purpose | Scoop.it
Companies and consumers both have a role in this.
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