Emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, as businesses recover, restructure and reevaluate, we have a unique opportunity to embed sustainable behaviours and practices. Businesses across categories are looking again at their purpose, the role they play in the world, as well as how they can get back into profit.
However, this is no simple task. Goodwill alone will not ensure businesses act effectively to embed purpose in a substantive way. We look at how we create the right environment for businesses to deliver purpose-led change. We have invited three leaders from the world of business, media and politics to discuss the challenges and opportunities for brands as they establish and deliver a more sustainable agenda.
Our panel included Baroness Rosie Boycott (Peers for the Planet), Juliet Davenport OBE (CEO, Good Energy), and Anna Turrell (Head of Environment, Tesco)
If you missed the session or would like to watch the full webinar again, you can here.
We’ve also included a summary of the key insights heard during the session below.
→ Purpose is more important than ever
Only 9% of Britons want life to go back to ‘normal’ once lockdown and social distancing measures are eased. Society and consumers are ready for a change to business as usual and is demanding that businesses embed sustainability into their operating models.
The consumer backlash against businesses who have been deemed not to have behaved responsibly during lockdown and support for others taking substantive purposeful action underscores a critical shift in mainstream societal awareness.
Starting a purpose conversation in business often needs a jolt from society – especially early on in the purpose journey. Society has set the conditions for purpose to be more closely scrutinised by senior leaders as inaction is a significant business risk.
COVID has given us a new jump off point…this is a time for us to be really really bold
→ Purpose needs to be lived across every part of an organisation
Purpose isn’t just a statement – it’s active. It has to owned by everyone in every part of the business and brought to life through substantive actions.
So when we look to embed purpose we have to start with internal engagement across all levels and business areas to generate buy in, excitement and ownership.
Co-creation is a really great way to engage key stakeholders early in the purpose journey. It helps to develop a shared, ownable vision for the future and provides you with a network key allies that you can rely on to be in your corner deeper into the embedding process.
Purpose as a concept is not black and white, it’s complicated and it’s nuanced – but I think fundamentally it has to be active. This isn’t about having a great purpose statement that sits on the wall, it’s an idea that has to be lived in every part of the organisation
→ It needs to be measurable if its to be credible
Purpose can only be proved to be active if you can demonstrate the change that is being created by the organisation. Metrics and KPIs must be set across the business to sustain purpose-led change – this is as equally important for internal cultural change as it is for external sustainability activities.
Metrics and KPIs requires for accountability need to be entrenched throughout the organisation and that’s why they are so powerful at embedding and sustaining purpose-led change.
“We need to make sure that there are effective, transparent, credible metrics and KPIs across and throughout businesses to sustain and embed the changes that we want to see”
→ “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”
Corporate culture is the driving force in embedding purpose
We spend a lot of our time thinking about purpose at a strategic organisational level but we neglect culture at our peril. Corporate culture is the driving force for embedding purpose and helps to ensure that it’s lived in the values of the organisation.
Strong leadership is needed to drive a purposeful corporate culture. Leading from the front sets the organisational tone and gives permission to colleagues to initiate change. But what if you don’t have an Alan Jope or a Helena Helmersson?
“Leadership is absolutely fundamental to try and bring about sustainable change…and we’ve seen it work with companies such as Unilever with Paul Polman”
Latest updatesSee all updates
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Last week, Given was one of eight agencies to reach the final of this year’s Creative Shootout. A bonkers day where we all had four hours to respond to a brief set by Carers UK.
Hello world, our new website is here
When it comes to internal projects – sometimes things need that little bit more of a push. After all, when there’s client work on the way, well, internal work just needs to stay (temporarily) at bay.
Bringing out the big guns for Creative Shootout
We’re through! Given has made the final to compete in the year’s most intense creative competition, Creative Shootout. On 25th January at BAFTA we’ll be put to the test with a sprint brief from Carers UK in the hopes of winning a prize fund, media partnerships and the opportunity to stage our campaign.
Our perspective on purpose
What’s the purpose of purpose? At Given, we see purpose as a management approach. One that creates business value by profitably solving the problems of people and the planet. It’s a company’s core reason for being, and is how it can have a unique, positive impact on the world.
In 2022, we took the airwaves for the first time with our podcast Purposing. Two seasons and 16 episodes later, we’re still lifting the lid on how to run a truly purposeful business. ‘Purposing’ is a podcast for CEOs, senior leaders and wanting to understand how to put purpose into practice.
Insiders’ Guide to Purpose
S2/Ep8 of the Purposing podcast with Steve Waygood
If we don’t fix the market, we won’t fix climate change
S2/Ep7 of the Purposing podcast with Char Love
Moving faster, aiming higher, and digging deeper - the role of advocacy in purpose-driven businesses
S2/Ep6 of the Purposing podcast with Dr Sally Uren
Why systems thinking is essential for purpose-driven businesses
Insiders’ Guide to Purpose #3 – Bringing purpose to your culture
Just like purpose, organisational culture has never been higher up the boardroom agenda. The Insiders' Guide to Purpose 3 will help you unlock the benefits of a purpose-driven culture
S2/Ep5 of the Purposing podcast with Jessie Macneil-Brown
How Ben & Jerry’s put fearless activism at the core of their social mission, with Jessie Macneil-Brown, Head of Social Mission Europe at Ben & Jerry’s
S2/Ep4 of the Purposing podcast with Hayley Still
How to disrupt an industry through purpose, with Hayley Still, CEO at Hydrogen Group