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公司使命=公关噱头?45位首席执行官这样认为

公司使命=公关噱头?45位首席执行官这样认为

穆瑞澜(Alan Murray), Bruce Simpson 2020年11月17日
越来越多的公司领导者承认,只关注利润远远不够

从左到右:Ulta Beauty公司的首席执行官玛丽•迪伦、IBM的首席执行官阿尔温德•克里希纳与百思买(BestBuy)的首席执行官科里•巴里参加《财富》杂志与麦肯锡(McKinsey)举办的会议,探讨坚持使命驱动领导力的策略。图片来源:COURTESY OF ULTA BEAUTY, IBM AND BEST BUY

如今,公司的经营环境正在发生变化。员工维权意识、日益提高的媒体透明度、全球政局变化以及新冠疫情、更加严重的不平等和气候变化等全球问题……这些重要的因素促使越来越多的公司领导者承认,只关注利润远远不够。公司使命,已经成为公司取得非凡成功必不可少的秘诀。

但领导者如何赋予公司使命感?如何区别真正的使命与“用使命装点门面”,即把使命作为公关伎俩,而不是在文化和运营方面做出根本改变?

为了回答这些问题,《财富》和麦肯锡公司在过去6个月里,邀请全球一流公司的45位首席执行官参加了四次虚拟工作会议。我们的目标是总结经验教训,帮助人们接纳一种管理模式,这种模式能够为公司和全社会带来更好的回报。

我们的交流包括七个主题,总结如下:

从长远来看,利润与使命无需权衡

参加会议的首席执行官们个人都热衷于创造积极的社会影响和服务所有利益相关者,并且他们都认同从长远来看,这种做法同样对股东有利。

正如IBM的首席执行官阿尔温德•克里希纳所说:“使命与利润是相辅相成,不可分割的。”

PayPal的首席执行官丹•舒尔曼更进一步解释说:“我认为,一家公司如果没有使命,它在业绩方面的成功也会大打折扣。”过去一年,PayPal降低了员工福利的成本,提高了工资,向员工发放股票并增加理财教育,以降低一线员工在经济上的脆弱性。这些举措改善了公司的人员流失和旷工情况。

当然,从短期来看,公司领导者仍然需要在追逐利润和坚持使命之间做出权衡。

麦肯锡的研究显示,61%的高管和董事表示会减少对正净现值项目的任意支出,包括对员工和其他利益相关者的投资,以避免收益“不及预期”。但有使命感的领导者会考虑更多利益相关者的利益,他们的眼光更长远,并且会创造更多价值。从长期来看,股东利益和利益相关者利益会趋于一致。

辉瑞(Pfizer)的首席执行官艾伯乐表示:“只要你忠于公司的使命,并且公司所有人都明确公司的使命,公司就有一个非常清晰的方向,使命如同指南针一般,会指引你前进。使命会让公司上下团结一致,形成凝聚力,从而带来业绩上涨。”李维斯(Levi Strauss)的首席执行官奇普•伯格解释说:“从长远来看,朝着对的方向做对的事情,会给股东带来回报。”

公司的使命从关爱员工开始

在当前的经济环境下,人力资本能推动公司价值,因此以员工为本的管理模式变得至关重要。

怡安集团(Aon PLC)和波耐蒙研究所(Ponemon Institute)的研究显示,四十年前,硬资产占公司价值的80%,而今天,商誉、品牌资产、专利和研发等无形资产或“软资产”占公司价值的85%。新冠疫情进一步提高了员工作为价值来源的重要性。

百思买的首席执行官科里•巴里谈到了公司的转型,主要包括增加员工折扣、提供培训和邀请一线员工广泛参与等举措。他表示:“公司践行使命要从支持内部团队和一线员工开始。员工会反过来支持我们的客户,这有利于业务的发展。”

麦肯锡最近的研究发现,与没有明确使命或者集体使命与个人使命不一致的公司的员工相比,有“使命感”的一线员工,其积极性是前者的四倍,继续留在工作岗位上的可能性是前者的两倍。

XPO物流公司(XPO Logistics)的首席执行官布拉德•雅各布斯向我们介绍,疫情“给我们的司机、仓库员工、交叉转运工作人员赋予了使命感……他们突然发现,将厕纸、Purell洗手液和药品送到人们手中,是他们的重要使命。这是我们的员工满意度上升5%的主要原因。”

使命驱动创新

所有的首席执行官都充分证明,使命感能够释放创造力和促进创新。

盖洛普(Gallup)最近的调查显示,北美和欧洲70%的劳动者“参与积极性不高”,这意味着他们上班的时候或许能做到律己、严格和服从,但却不会带来创造力、协作和主动性。

强生(Johnson & Johnson)的首席执行官亚历克斯•格尔斯基说:“作为公司的领导者,我们始终需要想方设法,把我们所做的事情与更伟大的使命从根本上联系起来。我认为,使命可以释放员工的活力、雄心和欲望,而且坦白说,还会提高员工的自豪感和成就感……使命的影响以及它给我们的组织带来的力量,是不容低估的。”

霍尼韦尔(Honeywell)的首席执行官杜瑞泽表示,当公司决定生产口罩用于防疫时,他“从未见过员工表现地如此兴奋和自豪。我认为它在公司带来了变革性的影响。”

公司的使命必须是真实的,并融入到公司的基因当中

在社交媒体带来信息透明的时代,如果公司言行不一,很快就会被员工和其他人拆穿。我们见到了许多公司因为被员工在社交媒体上“举报”,导致信誉严重受损。

耐克(Nike)的首席执行官约翰•多纳霍说:“重要的是要阐述公司希望在内部宣传的价值观,[并且解释]为什么这是公司业务的核心。耐克始终致力于争取种族和社会正义。这是公司的核心使命和宗旨。乔治•弗洛伊德事件发生后,我们发布了“请不要这样做”(Don't Do It)宣传视频,并投入1.4亿美元用于维护种族和社会正义。”

汉瑞祥(Henry Schein)的首席执行官斯坦•伯格曼表示:“社交媒体正在检验我们是否真实可信……我认为这很好。”

“证据”有助于公司树立信誉

在怀疑主义时代,公司只是陈述自己的使命是不够的。你必须经常并且持续证明你在践行公司的使命。

杜克能源(Duke Energy)的首席执行官林恩•古德认为:“[你需要]用真实的证据来证明公司的使命。如果我说员工的安全很重要,我必须用明确的安全协议作为证明。如果我说气候很重要,我会通过投资项目支持自己的气候计划,证明我们正在进步。”

另外一种证明的办法是把高管的薪酬与公司使命的落实情况挂钩。达能(Danone)的首席执行官范易谋就执行了这种策略。达能将高管薪酬与公司在健康、地球环境、员工和包容性增长方面的贡献以及公司给股东带来的财务回报等指标挂钩。

决定停止之前的行为,也是建立必要信誉的有力举措,比如CVS决定停止销售烟草,或迪克体育用品公司(Dick's Sporting Goods)决定限制销售枪支,或者IBM决定停止销售面部识别软件等。

对使命的坚定承诺能够帮助你在艰难时期做出决策

许多首席执行官提到,尤其是在动荡时期,使命非常宝贵。

英特尔(Intel)的首席执行官罗伯特•斯万说:“当遇到大麻烦的时候,比如新冠疫情或社会不公,我们会遵循公司的使命决定如何应对。”Ulta Beauty公司的玛丽•迪伦表示:“你不能认为使命感是理所当然的,更不能理所当然地信任银行,这样当你真正需要员工的时候,他们会愿意站出来,做更多努力。”

千禧一代和Z世代正在推动变革

使命能提高所有人的绩效,但年轻人能从使命感中获得最大的鼓舞。

奥美(Ogilvy)的首席执行官苏腾峰说:“在我的职业生涯当中,我从未见过任何一代人,能够产生与千禧一代和Z世代一样的影响力,推动这种转变。”

恒达理财(Edward Jones)的主理合伙人佩尼•彭宁顿表示:“千禧一代被他们的‘使命’驱动,现在他们也要求公司要有使命感。”

年青一代不仅在职场中表达自己的观点,他们也在以消费者的身份表达使命的重要性。现在有约70%的消费者声称,会根据生产商或销售商的社会立场,购买或抵制公司的产品或服务,由此可见年青一代日益壮大的影响力。而且年轻人不止支持社会事业,他们还在积极参与解决我们面临的根本问题。

因此,参与会议的首席执行官们都同意,真心坚持对使命的承诺,能够推动公司的业务发展。达能的首席执行官范易谋表示,无论公司是否愿意,改变终将到来。他说,全社会都在要求公司做得更多。“改变已经发生,而且会持续下去。我们要么顺势而为,要么选择抗拒。显然,我们现在必须做出决定。”(财富中文网)

本文作者穆瑞澜(Alan Murray)现任财富传媒公司首席执行官。布鲁斯•辛普森是麦肯锡公司高级合伙人,也是ESG/使命项目的负责人。

译者:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

如今,公司的经营环境正在发生变化。员工维权意识、日益提高的媒体透明度、全球政局变化以及新冠疫情、更加严重的不平等和气候变化等全球问题……这些重要的因素促使越来越多的公司领导者承认,只关注利润远远不够。公司使命,已经成为公司取得非凡成功必不可少的秘诀。

但领导者如何赋予公司使命感?如何区别真正的使命与“用使命装点门面”,即把使命作为公关伎俩,而不是在文化和运营方面做出根本改变?

为了回答这些问题,《财富》和麦肯锡公司在过去6个月里,邀请全球一流公司的45位首席执行官参加了四次虚拟工作会议。我们的目标是总结经验教训,帮助人们接纳一种管理模式,这种模式能够为公司和全社会带来更好的回报。

我们的交流包括七个主题,总结如下:

从长远来看,利润与使命无需权衡

参加会议的首席执行官们个人都热衷于创造积极的社会影响和服务所有利益相关者,并且他们都认同从长远来看,这种做法同样对股东有利。

正如IBM的首席执行官阿尔温德•克里希纳所说:“使命与利润是相辅相成,不可分割的。”

PayPal的首席执行官丹•舒尔曼更进一步解释说:“我认为,一家公司如果没有使命,它在业绩方面的成功也会大打折扣。”过去一年,PayPal降低了员工福利的成本,提高了工资,向员工发放股票并增加理财教育,以降低一线员工在经济上的脆弱性。这些举措改善了公司的人员流失和旷工情况。

当然,从短期来看,公司领导者仍然需要在追逐利润和坚持使命之间做出权衡。

麦肯锡的研究显示,61%的高管和董事表示会减少对正净现值项目的任意支出,包括对员工和其他利益相关者的投资,以避免收益“不及预期”。但有使命感的领导者会考虑更多利益相关者的利益,他们的眼光更长远,并且会创造更多价值。从长期来看,股东利益和利益相关者利益会趋于一致。

辉瑞(Pfizer)的首席执行官艾伯乐表示:“只要你忠于公司的使命,并且公司所有人都明确公司的使命,公司就有一个非常清晰的方向,使命如同指南针一般,会指引你前进。使命会让公司上下团结一致,形成凝聚力,从而带来业绩上涨。”李维斯(Levi Strauss)的首席执行官奇普•伯格解释说:“从长远来看,朝着对的方向做对的事情,会给股东带来回报。”

公司的使命从关爱员工开始

在当前的经济环境下,人力资本能推动公司价值,因此以员工为本的管理模式变得至关重要。

怡安集团(Aon PLC)和波耐蒙研究所(Ponemon Institute)的研究显示,四十年前,硬资产占公司价值的80%,而今天,商誉、品牌资产、专利和研发等无形资产或“软资产”占公司价值的85%。新冠疫情进一步提高了员工作为价值来源的重要性。

百思买的首席执行官科里•巴里谈到了公司的转型,主要包括增加员工折扣、提供培训和邀请一线员工广泛参与等举措。他表示:“公司践行使命要从支持内部团队和一线员工开始。员工会反过来支持我们的客户,这有利于业务的发展。”

麦肯锡最近的研究发现,与没有明确使命或者集体使命与个人使命不一致的公司的员工相比,有“使命感”的一线员工,其积极性是前者的四倍,继续留在工作岗位上的可能性是前者的两倍。

XPO物流公司(XPO Logistics)的首席执行官布拉德•雅各布斯向我们介绍,疫情“给我们的司机、仓库员工、交叉转运工作人员赋予了使命感……他们突然发现,将厕纸、Purell洗手液和药品送到人们手中,是他们的重要使命。这是我们的员工满意度上升5%的主要原因。”

使命驱动创新

所有的首席执行官都充分证明,使命感能够释放创造力和促进创新。

盖洛普(Gallup)最近的调查显示,北美和欧洲70%的劳动者“参与积极性不高”,这意味着他们上班的时候或许能做到律己、严格和服从,但却不会带来创造力、协作和主动性。

强生(Johnson & Johnson)的首席执行官亚历克斯•格尔斯基说:“作为公司的领导者,我们始终需要想方设法,把我们所做的事情与更伟大的使命从根本上联系起来。我认为,使命可以释放员工的活力、雄心和欲望,而且坦白说,还会提高员工的自豪感和成就感……使命的影响以及它给我们的组织带来的力量,是不容低估的。”

霍尼韦尔(Honeywell)的首席执行官杜瑞泽表示,当公司决定生产口罩用于防疫时,他“从未见过员工表现地如此兴奋和自豪。我认为它在公司带来了变革性的影响。”

公司的使命必须是真实的,并融入到公司的基因当中

在社交媒体带来信息透明的时代,如果公司言行不一,很快就会被员工和其他人拆穿。我们见到了许多公司因为被员工在社交媒体上“举报”,导致信誉严重受损。

耐克(Nike)的首席执行官约翰•多纳霍说:“重要的是要阐述公司希望在内部宣传的价值观,[并且解释]为什么这是公司业务的核心。耐克始终致力于争取种族和社会正义。这是公司的核心使命和宗旨。乔治•弗洛伊德事件发生后,我们发布了“请不要这样做”(Don't Do It)宣传视频,并投入1.4亿美元用于维护种族和社会正义。”

汉瑞祥(Henry Schein)的首席执行官斯坦•伯格曼表示:“社交媒体正在检验我们是否真实可信……我认为这很好。”

“证据”有助于公司树立信誉

在怀疑主义时代,公司只是陈述自己的使命是不够的。你必须经常并且持续证明你在践行公司的使命。

杜克能源(Duke Energy)的首席执行官林恩•古德认为:“[你需要]用真实的证据来证明公司的使命。如果我说员工的安全很重要,我必须用明确的安全协议作为证明。如果我说气候很重要,我会通过投资项目支持自己的气候计划,证明我们正在进步。”

另外一种证明的办法是把高管的薪酬与公司使命的落实情况挂钩。达能(Danone)的首席执行官范易谋就执行了这种策略。达能将高管薪酬与公司在健康、地球环境、员工和包容性增长方面的贡献以及公司给股东带来的财务回报等指标挂钩。

决定停止之前的行为,也是建立必要信誉的有力举措,比如CVS决定停止销售烟草,或迪克体育用品公司(Dick's Sporting Goods)决定限制销售枪支,或者IBM决定停止销售面部识别软件等。

对使命的坚定承诺能够帮助你在艰难时期做出决策

许多首席执行官提到,尤其是在动荡时期,使命非常宝贵。

英特尔(Intel)的首席执行官罗伯特•斯万说:“当遇到大麻烦的时候,比如新冠疫情或社会不公,我们会遵循公司的使命决定如何应对。”Ulta Beauty公司的玛丽•迪伦表示:“你不能认为使命感是理所当然的,更不能理所当然地信任银行,这样当你真正需要员工的时候,他们会愿意站出来,做更多努力。”

千禧一代和Z世代正在推动变革

使命能提高所有人的绩效,但年轻人能从使命感中获得最大的鼓舞。

奥美(Ogilvy)的首席执行官苏腾峰说:“在我的职业生涯当中,我从未见过任何一代人,能够产生与千禧一代和Z世代一样的影响力,推动这种转变。”

恒达理财(Edward Jones)的主理合伙人佩尼•彭宁顿表示:“千禧一代被他们的‘使命’驱动,现在他们也要求公司要有使命感。”

年青一代不仅在职场中表达自己的观点,他们也在以消费者的身份表达使命的重要性。现在有约70%的消费者声称,会根据生产商或销售商的社会立场,购买或抵制公司的产品或服务,由此可见年青一代日益壮大的影响力。而且年轻人不止支持社会事业,他们还在积极参与解决我们面临的根本问题。

因此,参与会议的首席执行官们都同意,真心坚持对使命的承诺,能够推动公司的业务发展。达能的首席执行官范易谋表示,无论公司是否愿意,改变终将到来。他说,全社会都在要求公司做得更多。“改变已经发生,而且会持续下去。我们要么顺势而为,要么选择抗拒。显然,我们现在必须做出决定。”(财富中文网)

本文作者穆瑞澜(Alan Murray)现任财富传媒公司首席执行官。布鲁斯•辛普森是麦肯锡公司高级合伙人,也是ESG/使命项目的负责人。

译者:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

Business is changing. A powerful mix of forces—employee activism, enhanced media transparency, government gridlock, and proliferating global problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inequality, and climate change—have led an ever-growing group of corporate leaders to recognize that a focus on profit is not enough. Purpose beyond profit has become a necessary ingredient for exceptional business success.

But how do you inject purpose into a business? And how do you distinguish true purpose from “purpose-washing”—a public relations veneer rather than a fundamental change in culture and operations?

To try and answer these questions, and to begin to create a playbook for others interested in following a similar purpose path, Fortune and McKinsey & Co. convened 45 of the world’s leading CEOs for four virtual working sessions over the past six months. Our goal was to extract lessons that would help others embrace a model of business that leads to better results both for their companies and for society.

Seven clear themes emerged from the conversations, which we have summarized below:

In the long run, there is no tradeoff between profit and purpose

To a person, the CEOs we convened were passionate about having a positive societal impact and serving all stakeholders, while recognizing that in the long run this would also be good for shareholders. As IBM CEO Arvind Krishna put it: “Purpose and profit go together, reinforcing each other.” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman took it one step further: “I’d actually argue if you don’t have a purpose as a company, you will be less successful from a results perspective.” Over the past year, PayPal has lowered the cost of benefits, increased salaries, given stock, and increased financial education to reduce economic fragility among its frontline workers. This contributed to drops in attrition and absenteeism.

In the short term, of course, tradeoffs clearly occur. McKinsey research shows 61% of executives and directors said they would cut discretionary spending on positive-net-present-value projects, including investments in employees and other stakeholders, to avoid an earnings “miss.” But purposeful leaders, who deliver against a broader set of stakeholder interests, will tend to keep their eye on the longer term and create more value through time. In the long term, shareholder interests and stakeholder interests tend to converge.

“If you stay true to your purpose and it is very clear to every person that is working in this company, then there is a very clear direction, there is a compass, there is a star that is telling you this is where we all go,” said PfizerCEO Albert Bourla. “That unites the organization, creates cohesiveness, and brings results.” Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh put it this way: “By doing right and doing the right thing, you are going to reward your shareholders over the long term.”

Purpose begins with your employees

In an economy where human capital drives business value, an employee-first approach has become essential. Research from Aon PLC and the Ponemon Institute shows that four decades ago, hard assets accounted for 80% of a company’s value, while today it’s intangibles—“soft assets” that include reputation, brand equity, patents, and R&D—that account for 85%. The focus on employees as the source of value was further reinforced by the pandemic.

“Purpose starts with supporting your own teams and front lines. They in turn support our customers, which takes care of business,” said Best Buy CEO Corie Barry, commenting on her company’s transformation, underpinned by increased employee discounts, training, and broad engagement of frontline staff. Recent McKinsey research found that frontline employees who “feel purpose” at work are up to four times as engaged as those at organizations where purpose is not activated and aligned to that of individual employees, and twice as likely to stay in the job.

XPO Logistics CEO Brad Jacobs told us how the pandemic “actually brought a purpose to our drivers, warehouse workers, people on a cross dock…They suddenly had a big purpose in getting people’s toilet paper delivered, getting people’s Purell delivered, getting medicines delivered. That was the prime thing that led to our employee satisfaction figures going up 5%.”

Purpose drives innovation

All the CEOs gave strong testament to the power of purpose in unleashing creativity and innovation. A recent Gallup survey shows that 70% of the workforce in North America and Europe is “not actively engaged,” which means that while they may be bringing discipline, rigor, and obedience to work, they’re leaving creativity, collaboration, and initiative at home.

“As leaders we always need to find a way to fundamentally attach what we are doing to that greater purpose,” said Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky. “I think it frees up a sense of energy, of ambition, of desire, and, frankly, a pride and accomplishment in our employees…The impact that can have, and the power that has more broadly on our organization, can’t be understated.”

Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk said he had “never seen such a level of excitement, of pride on the part of employees” as when his company turned to making masks for the pandemic. “I think it’s been transformative.”

A company’s purpose must be authentic and embedded in corporate DNA

In an age of social media transparency, employees and others will be quick to call a company out if its words don’t match its actions. We now have numerous examples of companies whose credibility has been undermined by their own employees who became “whistleblowers” on social media.

“It’s important to talk about the values you want to speak out on internally [and explain] why it is core to your business,” said John Donahoe, CEO of Nike. “Nike has a strong history of fighting for racial and social justice. [That’s] core to our mission and purpose as a company. When the George Floyd events occurred, we ran the ‘Don’t Do It’ campaign and made a $140 million commitment on racial and social justice.”

Stan Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein, put it this way: “Social media is testing us to make sure we are authentic…I think that’s great.”

‘Proof points’ along the way will help create credibility

In an age of skepticism, it’s not enough to merely state your purpose. You need to demonstrate it on a consistent and regular basis. “[You need to] take the purpose and demonstrate it with real proof points,” said Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy. “When I say employee safety is important, I need to demonstrate it with unequivocal safety protocols. When I say climate is important, I back up my climate plan with investments to show we are making progress.”

Other proof points can include tying executive compensation to delivering on purpose. This is the case for Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber, whose company links compensation to metrics on its contributions to health, the planet, its people, and inclusive growth—as well as financial returns to shareholders.

Decisions to stop doing something you were previously doing—like the CVSdecision to stop selling cigarettes, or the Dick’s Sporting Goods decision to limit gun sales, or IBM’s decision to stop selling facial recognition software—also can be powerful in building necessary credibility.

A strong commitment to purpose helps you make decisions when times turn tough

Many of the CEOs talked about purpose being especially valuable when times are rocky. “When the shit hits the fan—whether it is COVID or social injustice—we look to our purpose to figure out what to do,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. Ulta Beauty’s Mary Dillon said that “you can’t take for granted the notion of purpose, of putting that trust in the bank, so that at a time when you really need your employees, they feel good about stepping up and doing more.”

Millennials and Generation Z are driving change

While purpose helps drive performance across all generations, it is younger workers who seem most motivated by it. “In my career, I’ve never seen a generation who are more influential now in driving this change,” said John Seifert, CEO of Ogilvy. “Millennials are motivated by their ‘why,’ and they’re demanding that we build purpose within our organizations today,” said Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones.

The younger generation is expressing itself not only in the workplace but also as consumers. In one sign of that generation’s growing influence, some 70% of consumers overall now claim they buy or boycott products or services based on the social stances of the companies that make or sell them. And it’s not just about being supportive of social causes but also proactively working to solve underlying problems.

For all of these reasons, the CEOs who participated in these sessions agree that a genuine commitment to purpose can drive business results. And Danone’s Faber said the change is coming whether business wants it or not. Society is demanding more from business, he said. “It is there, and it is there to stay. Either we are working with the movement, or we choose to resist it. It is a clear moment of choice.”

Alan Murray is CEO of Fortune Media. Bruce Simpson is senior partner at McKinsey & Co. and leader of its ESG/Purpose Practice.

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