Every so often the business world awakens to a new reality. We’re in the midst of one today that directly addresses a question keeping most CEOs up at night: How do I deliver long-term, sustainable value that motivates employees, engages customers, strengthens my brand, and delivers the profitability my stakeholders demand? The answer is simple, yet transformative. As we move through the 21st Century, companies need to find their moral purpose—something that lives within the soul of their business, which can translate into a form of good that is beneficial to both their bottom line and to mankind. Profit meets purpose . . . the clarion call of today.
Companies rising to answer this call are well positioned to become the iconic brands that define this era, which has moved beyond digital to one of social consciousness. Proof of this profound shift came from a surprising call to action from BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink in his 2018 annual letter to CEOs, which sent shock waves through the financial community:
Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. . . . Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from stakeholders.1
Laurence Fink, BlackRock ...