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Performance with Purpose

Our colleagues at Kekst & Company recently underlined the rise of a “new populism,” which has “emboldened a push for wholesale changes that will affect every public company—changes in disclosure practices, proxy voting processes, executive compensation, risk management and taxation.”

We call such an ethos “Performance with Purpose.” Nothing wrong with making a profit, but don’t do it at the expense of the communities you touch.  In fact, we believe a positive purpose will actually lead to better financial performance.

Giving large corporate bonuses after polluting a river was always the wrong thing to do but sometimes went unnoticed. Or, people didn’t have the means to fight back. In our social, digital world, such action spreads around the world in seconds and can take a company down.

At MSLGROUP, one of the main trends we’ve seen is that people are more likely to trust a company that partners with a non-governmental organization to battle global issues. Honest business practices and respectful, engaging treatment of employees is a must. (See our blog post on The Talent Journey.)

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In corporate life, we think this translates into defining a new purpose for our post-crisis world, indeed the second decade of the third millennia. This has to be a “value for all” strategy, one that creates value for shareholders, employees, customers, communities.

Generating shareholder value AND acting as a social agent is the next business frontier. Companies can and should shape social developments.

This strategy comprises three primary tenets:

  1. long-term value creation
  2. strong ethical compass
  3. consistent employee engagement policies

As a communications company, we would be remiss if we did not express the importance of doing what you say and of saying what you do. Companies that go silent amidst a crisis only deepen their problems.  Articulate what you stand for, make sure your employees understand your goals and have the means to support them, and engage with all stakeholders—from shareholders to people who live down the street.

For more information on designing on “value for all” business and communications strategy, please contact Chief Strategy Officer Pascal Beucler at or +33 1 57 32 86 66.

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