How COVID-19 is the ultimate test of ‘purpose’

Organizations must strive to show how they are valuable members of the communities they serve. How you respond to this crisis might well be what your reputation is based on for years to come.

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Brands, companies and organizations are operating at a time of unprecedented stress and challenges.

On top of conducting business, company leaders are being pressed to take care of their employees, contribute to pandemic initiatives and straddle the fine line between authentic communication and self-promotion.

Difficult and often murky questions are being asked in virtual board rooms across the country that are challenging leadership and shaking many company’s sense of purpose to its core. According to APCO Worldwide research, 74% of Americans say the way a business treats its employees during the COVID-19 outbreak will influence their decisions to purchase from the company. Additional research also indicates that 74% don’t see a single company or corporate leader standing out.

This shows that going forward, performance and value won’t be measured by dollars earned or company stock value, but increasingly in how a company and its leadership serve the community and fulfill a higher purpose that goes beyond what they sell. This means that companies and organizations are going to be expected to have an unwavering sense of self and how that identity benefits their various stakeholders and communities. All of those decisions must point back to the purpose of their existence.

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