New study identifies key drivers of authentic corporate purpose
A new study from IMD Business School and PR firm Burson-Marsteller has identified the key drivers of authentic corporate purpose and reveals a questionnaire that companies can use to assess themselves if they want to discover, define and deliver their corporate purpose.
Drivers are divided into those that relate to identity and those that relate to image range, from how transparent and open to self-regulation a company is, to its long-term orientation and consistency. It also takes into consideration differentiating factors such as passion and originality.
Based on a quantitative survey and interviews with business leaders, “Keeping it real” - How authentic is your corporate purpose? shows widespread understanding by business leaders that having a well-communicated corporate purpose is not enough to benefit reputation.
“An authentic corporate purpose guides business decisions and is central to developing strategy. It also plays a key role in guiding and motivating employees. Communicating it internally and externally is critical. But the purpose comes first – it is not a communications tool,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa and Worldwide head of strategy.
“It is not surprising that leadership emerged as a strong and consistent driver of authentic corporate purpose. Leaders need to be relentlessly committed to embedding the purpose throughout the organisation. Our study on authenticity seeks to provide executives with a roadmap for discovering, defining and delivering authentic corporate purpose for their organisations.”
Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Director of IMD’s CSL Learning Platform points out: “What we have now - as a result of this research - is a veritable diagnostic toolset that can be used by companies to drive authenticity throughout their organizations.”
The study builds on an on-going collaboration on leadership and strategic issues related to corporate purpose since 2008 between IMD’s CSL Learning Platform at the Global Center for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) and Burson-Marsteller.
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