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Purpose and ESG – a working paper

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Charles Wookey, CEO, A Blueprint for Better Business

As part of our work we are often challenged to explain how business tools, including ESG performance measurement relate, to being purpose-led. This is still an ongoing discussion for us and so we are publishing this working paper to encourage debate and discussion.

Click here to read the Blueprint working paper on Purpose and ESG.

We are interested to hear your perspective on the role of ESG in business and how it relates to purpose. If you would get in touch with Blueprint about this or any other topic, please contact: enquiries@blueprintforbusiness.org

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Learning from the present to help guide the future

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Loughlin Hickey, Trustee, A Blueprint for Better Business

Re-posted with permission from LinkedIn

There are many stories of how businesses are reacting to the current human crisis and its attendant economic consequences. The heartening stories are those where business have managed to put people at the heart of their survival and renewal thinking. Some of those businesses went into the crisis with a clarity around their purpose and beliefs and this has helped them navigate a course in these stormy waters; others have uncovered a sense of purpose that was latent but not explicit.

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LinkedIn: Being “Purpose-led” is not about avoiding tough decisions

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Charles Wookey, CEO, A Blueprint for Better Business

Read my thoughts in full on LinkedIn

Being purpose-led is not about avoiding tough decisions. It is about accepting and naming the difficulties and the struggle, bringing people into a decision making process, even if it is one that involves loss and sacrifice, and especially when there is acute uncertainty.

This article explores how being purpose-led can help businesses navigate the acute challenges they face now. And why it should not be misunderstood as just being ‘nice’. I hope you find it helpful and welcome your thoughts.

Taking stock of the emerging reality

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Charles Wookey, CEO, A Blueprint for Better Business

As we move into a second period of lockdown, with no clear route map yet emerging, there is a profound stress and anxiety for many across all dimensions of life and work.

In trying to make sense of what is happening, a very natural temptation is to predict, forecast and prescribe as if we somehow have privileged access to the answers. As one of our Advisory Council, Margaret Heffernan said a few days ago:

“Even as we anticipate a rising death toll, many are looking over the horizon to stake their claim to the future. It’s more than a little premature. We haven’t lived through the experience yet – and already we jump to conclusions about it. We don’t know who or where we will be when this ends. Attempts to define what happens next represent a power grab, attempting to wrest the future from all of us before we get there. We do better to experience fully and to understand the present than to let anyone pre-empt our future.”

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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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LinkedIn: Putting purpose into practice: 5 “don’ts” and 3 “dos”

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Charles Wookey, CEO, A Blueprint for Better Business

Read my thoughts in full here

When Blueprint started its work with major companies on purpose in 2014, the first question from many business leaders was why: “Why we should spend time on purpose? What is the business case?”

Now, six years on, the first question is usually how: “We get that purpose matters. How do you do this really well, and how do you assess progress?”

We are learning a lot from the companies we are working with, and a range of thoughtful fellow travellers working in different ways with companies large and small.

Based on our experience this article outlines five don’ts and three dos:

www.linkedin.com/pulse/putting-purpose-practice-5-donts-3-dos-charles-wookey/

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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