Q1 2022

14 APAC / Issue Q1 2022 , Living the Corporate Purpose: Insights From Companies Across Asia According toMark Chong, Associate Professor of CommunicationManagement (Practice) and Dr Flocy Joseph, Head of Commercial, Executive Development from the Singapore Management University, all the companies featured in their book have remained remarkably stable during the COVID-19 crisis, as their purpose has helped them to navigate the unprecedented challenges by serving as a guiding light. The current discussions on corporate purpose are happening at a time when trust in institutions – including business – is very low. This distrust is fuelled by myriad factors including a growing sense of inequity, pessimism about economic prospects, and lack of confidence in leaders with governments world over. Increasingly, stakeholders expect companies to play a more meaningful role. When purpose is backed by committed leadership and financial investment, it empowers the company to create sustainable growth in profits, maintain its relevance, and strengthen relationships with its stakeholders. In the workplace, purpose- driven employees have been found to have higher levels of engagement and personal fulfilment; they outperform their peers in every indicator, according to a global study on the role of purpose in the workforce (LinkedIn, 2016). Now is arguably the best time for purpose-driven businesses, as COVID-19 presents unprecedented opportunities to leverage purpose to benefit stakeholders, especially those with acute needs. More specifically, the crisis allows companies to bring their greatest strengths to bear on problems and to involve their employees in solutions, thereby building a shared sense of purpose (McKinsey, 2020). In 2020, we became the first to study the purpose-driven journeys of corporations in Asia. We studied several organisations operating in Asia who were known to have a strong purpose led culture. Distilling our insights into the book “Living the Corporate Purpose: Insights from companies across Asia”, we created a framework referred to as “3As” or the Triple A Framework. This framework explained how purpose driven companies “Articulated their purpose; how the Assimilated the purpose internally to get the buy in of all the employees and how these organisations Activated their purpose with external stakeholders beyond the organisation”. Featuring 13 companies in Asia that are living their respective corporate purposes in a case study format, the book represents a broad spectrum of industries and answers several questions to gauge the impact of a purpose- driven company, such as whether the has a purpose which results in improving the lives of the people in the community they operate in. Source: Singapore Management University