Conociendo el Futuro de las Empresas con purpose: presentation of the I Ibero-American barometer on the implementation of corporate purpose

Marina Seder Sanz. Master's Degree of Personnel Management Service in Organizations

In a constantly evolving business world, the search for an authentic and meaningful corporate purpose for companies and their employees has become a beacon for the vast majority of organizations. This search for purpose has not only come to redefine the direction that business takes, but has begun to transcend borders, marking a major milestone in the evolution of corporate management .

In order to address these concepts Chair Carmina Roca and Rafael Pich-Aguilera of IESE Women and Leadership , the School of Economics and Business Sciences of the University of Navarra and DCH organized "Innovation through Corporate purpose ", where the "presentation of the Ibero-American Barometer on the Implementation of Business Objectives" was presented, moderated by Álvaro Lleo, director of the Master in Personnel Management Service in Organizations of the University of Navarra.

Álvaro Lleó defined purpose as an "element capable of generating strong interpersonal links. Hence, the organizational purpose is more effective to the extent that it is shared." Furthermore, to understand the great potential that purpose has, it can be synthesized into three dimensions, which must be thought of together, these are identity, meaning and mission statement. He defined the identity of an organization as "the history, its raison d'être and the goal for which it was created", "a focus of light that makes it easier to identify the priorities of an organization and to set the goals to be pursued". Secondly, meaning, the purpose becomes source of motivation and a reservoir of energy to overcome obstacles as a company and finally, the purpose is implemented through the mission statement, this is "the concrete contribution that an organization intends to make to the various agents with which it interacts".

Through the First Ibero-American Barometer on the implementation of the Corporate purpose , we sought to know to what extent companies have a formulated purpose , how they have activated it, as well as the impact it has on environmental, social and governance results. The survey was carried out by 433 companies from LATAM (64%) and Europe (36%), of various sectors, types and sizes.

Throughout the discussion paper, the results obtained were presented as well as the final conclusions of this great research, where it was concluded that the importance of defining the purpose in a more participatory way, starting from lively conversations and reviewing it periodically, even though the employees know the origin, values and purpose of the organization.

In terms of levers, these were defined as leadership, management systems, strategy and communication. With regard to their deployment, companies have achieved a strong alignment between their business model , brand strategy and purpose, and are concerned with measuring customer satisfaction. However, there is a lack of emphasis on defining indicators to evaluate progress towards purpose and specifying the contribution of each area to its achievement. In addition, the need to pay attention to explaining how managers live purpose on a daily basis was stressed, as well as to focus on helping employees to achieve a connection with their tasks and objectives, through purpose, as sometimes managers only focus on believing in their purpose and spend time explaining it. The development of tools to assess the level of knowledge and the way in which both customers and employees share purpose is becoming increasingly crucial. This is because companies already have a purpose communication plan in place, and therefore measurement and methods of communicating purpose results and progress become an essential component.

Finally, the impact of the levers on the G.S.A. results are presented as follows: The levers that have the greatest impact on Governance are Leadership and Strategy, in Social it is Leadership. On the Environmental factor it is Communication. As a whole, the lever that has the greatest impact on G.S.A. is Leadership.

The implementation of purpose produces diverse results, and in this research, Lleó explored its influence on Social, Environmental and Governance Aspects (ESG). The results show a significant impact on governance, particularly in the generation of long-term value deadline, although less pronounced in the area of intrapreneurship. In terms of social performance, it is reflected in the organization of the environment and employee well-being, with a somewhat lesser effect on the promotion of corporate volunteer activities . In terms of environmental impact, environmental awareness stands out as the aspect most affected.

In relation to conditioning factors, it was observed that companies in Latin America, in contrast to Spanish and Portuguese companies, tend to have a more defined purpose and a higher level of alignment between strategy and management systems. In addition, it was found that listed companies, as well as those with higher revenues and a higher issue of employees, present a higher Degree of strategic alignment with the purpose. Finally, in industrial companies, the impact that purpose has on environmental performance is significantly higher than in service companies.

In conclusion, this research highlights the importance of defining the purpose in a participatory manner and under constant review, even when employees are aware of the origin and values of the organization. The levers of leadership, systems, strategy and communication are identified as factors core topic in the implementation of purpose, but the need to establish indicators to measure the progress and contribution of each area is pointed out.

Finally through the workshop and the words of Álvaro Lleo, we reflected on the fact that the purpose should not only be a statement, but an active force that drives change and constant improvement in our organizations, the purpose should move forward positively influencing society and the environment on the way to a more humane, sustainable future manager.


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