Today’s leaders have never been under so much pressure. Even as they navigate the evolving COVID-19 crisis—keeping their customers and employees safe and their businesses viable—expectations are sky-high. Shareholders are calling for foresight, bold strategies, agility, and resilience, while governments and communities increasingly expect businesses to support broader goals, such as sustainability and social justice.
For purpose-led corporations, this is a defining moment. How can they remain committed to additional stakeholder values when the imperative is to conserve cash and, in many cases, aggressively restructure? And what about businesses that have only started defining their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ambitions? When push comes to shove, do their leaders (and shareholders) really believe in relationships and the ESG premium? And, if so, where can they best focus their attention?