While most of us think about “corporate purpose” as companies adopting programs to promote public good beyond what directly benefits their bottom lines, I wonder if a bigger, more complex transformation is at hand?
Boeing’s widening woes are a warning to every communicator tasked with creating or sharing company purpose.
The headline in today’s New York Times says it all: Cascading Crisis Reveals ‘Sick’ Culture at Boeing. Recently revealed internal documents show employees regularly cutting corners, dissing one another and insulting customers, feeling remorse for having deluded regulators and, above all, obsessing about meeting deadlines and budgets.
The World Economic Forum (“WEF”) is gearing up for its annual confab in the Swiss Alps by publishing a “Davos Manifesto” about company purpose. It smacks of dishonesty and desperation.
I caught the full-page ads in the Financial Times and New York Times which, interestingly, had different headlines: The FT called it “The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” while the NYT headline just read “A Company’s Purpose…”