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How to Overcome Pitfalls of Corporate Purpose

A compelling corporate purpose serves as the strategic north star for an organization. Companies with a strong organizational purpose clearly define the positive impact they want to have on the world, inspire employees, and help orient their business externally. Additionally, at an individual level, purpose provides employees with direction and intention to work. However, studies reveal that only 44% of employees believe their corporate purpose is aligned with their personal goals. So, what are the common pitfalls? In this article at Fortune, Bruce Simpson explains the pitfalls of corporate purpose and ways to overcome them.

Pitfalls of Corporate Purpose

Purpose As a Branding Exercise

“Purpose statements will appear shallow unless they are linked to real business decisions,” says Simpson. The purpose must be integrated into internal and external decisions and must not be limited to branding exercise. Business leaders must use corporate purpose to help sharpen their organization’s decisions. Furthermore, leaders must build a purpose narrative that includes organizational changes and commitments that can be tracked and measured. The narrative must be then embedded across products, people and culture, processes and systems, performance metrics, and external engagements.

Lack of Employee Participation

Insufficient employee participation and narrow stakeholder engagement can lead to implementation failure. To overcome the pitfall, organizations must connect employees’ everyday tasks and organizational goals to corporate purpose. According to various studies, aligning individual and corporate purpose enhances employee engagement, well-being, and health outcomes. In addition, employees with a strong sense of purpose demonstrate increased performance, motivation, and creativity.

Poor Stakeholder Management

Poor stakeholder management can lead to missed opportunities to uncover innovative ideas from stakeholder perspectives. Business leaders must establish a good rapport with suppliers, customers, contractors, and other stakeholders. This dynamic relationship will undoubtedly improve trust, efficiency, and transparency. Effective stakeholder engagement will help organizations improve their products, ideas, and operations.

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