Unlocking the Purpose of Purpose

Purpose has become something of a fad and a victim of its own success. That is the premise of an article from Harvard Business Review titled "What Is the Purpose of Purpose?". Written by four thought leaders in the space, the article surmises that purpose remains a confusing subject, and that companies too often struggle to authentically articulate and act on their reason for being beyond turning a profit.

To help executive leaders make sense of purpose and its role in driving business strategy, the article lays out a framework for evaluating three types of purpose and what companies typically get wrong about each of them. Anchored in great examples across industry sectors, the piece also presents a five-step process for finding a corporate purpose, including questions to help reach consensus on the most effective definition.

In this episode of Beyond Profit, a podcast of the ANA Center for Brand Purpose, host Ken Beaulieu discusses key aspects of the article with two of the authors: Hannah Grove, a former global CMO of State Street and a nonexecutive director of Aberdeen, and Jonathan Knowles, founder of the strategic advisory firm Type 2 Consulting.

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