Price Waterhouse Coopers recently released the results of its 2016 US CEO Survey detailing the top issues CEOs in the US expect to see and what they are planning to do in the year ahead. The full results of the survey, which make for very interesting reading, can be found here. Most interesting to us in our work at Storyforge and indeed to all businesses is number four on the list of top 10 findings: Customers and other stakeholders will expect business to demonstrate a higher purpose over the coming years.
Expanding on this point, the survey goes on to say:
CEOs expect that in the near future, many of their customers and prospective employees will seek to understand the “purpose” of business and the impact that operations have on the wider world. And where customers and talent go, investors will follow. As eBay Inc. President and CEO Devin Wenig puts it, with competition coming from every angle, “purpose doesn’t have to be a do-good mission. Purpose is, ‘What’s the hole in the universe if your company isn’t there?’ To me, that sits above your brand, above your strategy, above your operations.”
Ultimately the CEO must deal with matters of the head and the heart to secure the confidence of all their stakeholders to move ahead.
We’ve documented the rise of the purpose-driven brand in the past, but it seems that 2016 has brought an increased interest in and awareness of the business case for pursuing purpose. No longer are companies thinking solely about corporate social responsibility. Rather, there is new acknowledgement that business is more profitable when all stakeholders’ needs are addressed and met. Rather than purpose being relegated to a single department in an organization, it sits atop the organization, directing all activities and initiatives. Customers and employees are demanding it. What greater impetus are we waiting for?
Contact us to discuss how we can help align your organization behind a meaningful purpose in 2016.
Barry Chandler is the co-founder of Storyforge, a brand strategy company focused on helping companies discover their purpose to allow them achieve their vision, build preference and drive margin. Barry has been building award winning businesses since launching his first company in Ireland in 2003. His last company, a digital marketing agency, was acquired in 2012 by a California based publicly traded entertainment company which then hired him as Chief Marketing Officer. It is his belief that the greatest brands seek to change the world, improving the lives of their associates, partners and customers.