Corporate and Brand Purpose - Speeding the pathway from rhetoric and aspiration to embedded, sustainable reality

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Purpose is all the rage – and seemingly the ubiquitous topic du jour. As the business & society agenda continues to mature, the forces of value and values become more prominent drivers, and the SDG’s have emphasised business opportunities for enhancing shareholder value via private sector engagement in directly addressing development challenges, corporate and brand purpose has hit the spotlight across many businesses. Risk-based drivers, including the now famous Larry Fink annual letter to CEOs (2018) have added further impetus to the purpose agenda.

It’s safe to say that most sustainability leaders agree with the idea of placing societal consideration at the heart of business strategy and practice through the concept of purpose-led value creation. However, some live questions arise at this exciting moment:

  • What does “purpose” really mean in the business context? How is it best defined, expressed and operationalised in a way that is authentic, galvanises action and sustains value creation for all stakeholders?
  • How can the above be achieved in mature, ‘big business’ environments – including in organisations often dealing with major strategic, cultural or organisational imperatives, whether on an organic growth path, or post-merger / acquisition?
  • What levers and mechanisms are required to truly embed and sustain purpose at scale across whole businesses and sectors? What models are most likely to help achieve transformative change?

These and related questions will be addressed at the Breakfast Dialogue session on 17th April which will be moderated by C&E Advisory CEO Manny Amadi, with Richard Ellis, VP, Global Corporate Responsibility, Walgreen Boots Alliance igniting the discussion with his reflections.

About the series:
C&E’s Breakfast Dialogue series are free, by invitation, informal discussions held over a light breakfast and involving a dozen or so senior participants from corporate, NGO and public-sector backgrounds. They are highly interactive, informed, co-learning discussions in which participants share their perspectives, experiences and insights - under Chatham House rules. Guests for this particular session will comprise of senior representatives from leading UK and international companies covering a range of business sectors.