These words were sent out in January 2018 by Laurence D Fink, CE of Black Rock, to the world’s largest public companies. And the business world needs to take him seriously; managing more than $6 trillion in investments, Black Rock is the largest investor in the world and Fink has huge influence on whether directors are voted on and off boards.
Black Rock is leading the charge from investors in demanding that businesses connect performance with purpose and recognise the impact they have on the society that gives them a licence to operate. His words too will reinforce the need for businesses to operate in a more integrated way; thinking holistically about their strategy, activities and the behaviours and values by which they will be judged.
The good news is that a purposeful business means better business, attracting customers, employees and investors.
So let me pose a few questions for which you should have an answer:
- Are you running a 21st century business with a 21st century mindset or are you still focusing solely on shareholder value?
- Are you creating or destroying value?
- Is your performance guided by a sense of purpose?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you’re failing your organisation and these questions should be at the top of your next board agenda.