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What does purpose look like in a crisis?

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Amelia Watts, Communications Manager, A Blueprint for Better Business

Over the last weeks, we have all experienced rapid change in response to Covid-19 and the economic uncertainty we face as a society. We wanted to share just a few illustrative examples of the positive ways in which businesses are responding. We hope this will show how companies can make thoughtful and compassionate decisions in difficult times and we aim to highlight, where we can, the thinking we believe sits behind them around relationships, people, purpose.

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What does a ‘good’ purpose statement look like?

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Amelia Watts, Communications Manager, A Blueprint for Better Business

Last year Unilever CEO Alan Jope, said to an audience at Cannes Lions: “Woke-washing is beginning to infect our industry. It’s putting in peril the very thing which offers us the opportunity to help tackle many of the world’s issues.” He added: “Purpose-led brand communications is not just a matter of ‘make them cry, make them buy’. It’s about action in the world.”

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Navigating Purpose – provocations for CEOs

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Charles Wookey, CEO, A Blueprint for Better Business

This introduction was given to an audience of FTSE 100 leaders at a recent Blueprint CEO Forum.

Ahead of this evening’s discussion, I wanted to offer this illustration as an opening framing, and from there draw out three provocations. In doing this, I’m conscious that we represent a charity working with business leaders – one offering insights and questions – but we are not the people on the bridge of the ship. You are.

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How can business respond to the climate crisis?

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A Blueprint For Better Business

As we made clear earlier this year, Blueprint welcomes the decision by UK business leaders to voice their concerns about climate change. Today a cross-sectoral business group has decided to launch an independent business platform, the Business Declares Network. They reflect a widespread understanding that business has a vital role to play in solving global sustainability challenges as demonstrated by the SDGs and organisations such as Climate Action 100+

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Purpose-led Business: How does HR drive the agenda?

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Dee Corrigan, Head of Corporate Engagement, A Blueprint for Better Business

On 10th September 2019, Dee spoke at the CRF event, Responsible Business: How does HR Drive the Agenda? She explores the power of purpose and the importance of understanding how the way we view other people shapes our workplaces. You can find her presentation here: CRF Presentation – Dee Corrigan – Blueprint

Speakers included Nick Dalton, Unilever, Dee Corrigan, Blueprint for Better Business, David Grayson, Cranfield School of Management, and our own Carmen von Rohr. These post meeting notes provide by the CRF summarise the key messages from the day: Responsible Business: How can HR Drive the Agenda?

What role does HR play in purpose-led organisations?

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Dee Corrigan, Head of Corporate Engagement, A Blueprint for Better Business

As John Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, eloquently argues business cannot be understood as simply a nexus of contracts between self-interested individuals, but is instead better expressed as a series of relationships, ideally characterised by respect and co-creation, where people are moved to commit to a shared worthwhile endeavour.

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Is asking creative questions key to tackling businesses fairness challenge?

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Charles Wookey is CEO of A Blueprint for Better Business

“I recently heard that a (now former) financial services CEO was asked by his team if “fairness” should be one of their core values. “No. That’s ridiculous. Life is unfair” said the CEO.

Fairness is a recurring topic in public discourse about business. In practice, however, we are often conflicted about what fairness means in a given situation and in particular, how to translate it into the complexity of business life.”

In the July edition of Coaching Perspectives Magazine, Charles challenges readers to think about why fairness matters in business. He explores how the insights and perspective of a coaching approach can help and why it is important to think about the underlying assumptions at play within businesses about how people are motivated.

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Piffle or pertinent: Does your company have a meaningful purpose?

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Guest writer: Richard Aldwinckle, Sustainability & Purpose Adviser to Unilever, 2002-17

In July 2018 the Financial Reporting Council published a revised corporate governance code, requiring premium listed companies to “establish the company’s purpose” and ensure it aligns with values, strategy and culture. So you would think that companies without a purpose would have spent the past year busily devising and applying one to their business.

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