Corporate Purpose

What defines a company’s purpose—its core reason for being and its impact on the world? This collection looks closer at the issues and how to move from theory to action in the next normal.

Featured insights

The search for purpose at work

Purpose is personal, but companies play a critical role in how we express it.
Interactive

What matters most? Five priorities for CEOs in the next normal

– How leaders can adapt to a very different future.
Article

The growth triple play: Creativity, analytics, and purpose

– Companies that integrate creativity, analytics, and purpose are delivering at least two times the growth of their peers.
Article

Help your employees find purpose—or watch them leave

– Employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need, or... be prepared to lose talent to companies that will.
Discussion Paper - McKinsey Global Institute

A new look at how corporations impact the economy and households

– We map the different ways in which the economic value that large companies create flows to households in OECD economies and examine... what has changed in the past quarter-century.
Article

Purpose for asset owners: Climbing a taller mountain

– In the wake of the pandemic, the world’s long-term investors are reexamining their purpose.
Article

The case for stakeholder capitalism

– Consumers and society at large are expecting more from business. Embracing these responsibilities can help shareholders, too.
Article

From principle to practice: Making stakeholder capitalism work

– Just as with other business priorities, stakeholder capitalism is a matter of execution. Here are five steps to get it right.
Article

Investors remind business leaders: Governance matters

– Activists continue to poke holes in corporate performance and returns, but they are having their greatest success with governance... structures. Here’s how to think about their moves.

Value Creation

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The value of value creation

– Long-term value creation can—and should—take into account the interests of all stakeholders.
Article

How executives can help sustain value creation for the long term

– Joint research from FCLTGlobal and McKinsey highlights the behaviors that can help corporate leaders and board directors sidestep pressures and stay focused on the long term.
Interview

Accounting for values and valuation

– Former UPS finance chief Kurt Kuehn describes how the SASB framework can help companies measure, manage, and disclose material ESG and other nonfinancial risks.
Interactive - McKinsey Quarterly

Five Fifty: High stakes for stakeholder capitalism

– As environmental, social, and governance issues become more urgent, companies are looking to create both profits and progress.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Five ways that ESG creates value

– Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.
Survey

The ESG premium: New perspectives on value and performance

– In a new survey, executives and investment professionals largely agree that environmental, social, and governance programs create short- and long-term value—though perceptions of how have changed over the past decade.
Article

More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want

– Nonfinancial reports helped stimulate the growth of sustainable investing. Now investors are questioning current reporting practices—and calling for changes that executives and board members must understand.

Living your purpose

Interactive - McKinsey Quarterly

Do you know your life’s purpose?

– Do you know your life’s purpose? Knowing can help you navigate uncertainty, become more resilient, and even live a longer, more fulfilled life. According to McKinsey research, life purpose can be mapped to a combination of nine universal values we all share. To find meaning in your life and work, start by identifying the unique set of values that motivate and inspire you to action.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Purpose, not platitudes: A personal challenge for top executives

– To harness the power of corporate purpose, CEOs and other senior executives must pressure-test that purpose with their teams, employees—and themselves.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

More than a mission statement: How the 5Ps embed purpose to deliver value

– Your company’s purpose strengthens resilience and creates value—if it’s genuine. A new framework highlights a detailed approach to embedding purpose throughout your organization.
Article

Demonstrating corporate purpose in the time of coronavirus

– Companies will define what they do in the crucible of COVID-19 response—or be defined by it. Here’s how to frame the challenge.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Purpose: Shifting from why to how

– What is your company’s core reason for being, and where can you have a unique, positive impact on society? Now more than ever, you need good answers to these questions.
Article

The board’s role in embedding corporate purpose: Five actions directors can take today

– A large spotlight is shining on corporate actions these days, and all stakeholders have growing expectations. A board’s involvement in defining purpose helps meet those expectations.
Article

From there to here: 50 years of thinking on the social responsibility of business

– Milton Friedman’s pathbreaking essay on corporate purpose was published on September 13, 1970. How much has management thinking evolved?
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis

– Creating strong links to an individual purpose benefits individuals and companies alike—and could be vital in managing the postpandemic uncertainties that lie ahead.

Featured Interviews

Podcast

Stakeholder capitalism: A conversation with Vivian Hunt and Paul Polman

– Why companies must now compete on trust and deliver value to multiple stakeholders.
Podcast

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, on corporate purpose during a crisis

– Reckitt Benckiser’s CEO reflects on his experience transitioning into the leadership role and driving strategic change during... the global pandemic.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

How an Australian resources company makes ESG a priority

– Karen Wood, chair of South32, talks about what makes the company’s purpose and strategy resilient in unpredictable times.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Rallying around purpose: An interview with the managing director and CEO of Insurance Australia Group

– Digital technologies are important, but “good, old-fashioned trust” is indispensable, says Peter Harmer.

Regional Perspectives

Report

How purpose-led missions can help Europe innovate at scale

– Missions can foster broad collaboration between business leaders and the public sector while also garnering support from European citizens.

Quick Takes from our Blogs

Blog Post

Making work meaningful from the C-suite to the frontline

– By highlighting the impact work has across these five sources, leaders can create a greater sense of meaning for their people.
Blog Post

Inclusive workplaces focus on management practices that matter, not fluff

– When done consistently well, these practices drive workplace inclusion and equity for all employees.
Blog Post

The future of work: Understanding what’s temporary and what’s transformative

– Organizations must evaluate three key areas to not only emerge from the COVID-19 crisis but thrive in the post-pandemic world.

Purpose at McKinsey

2020 Social Responsibility Report

Our commitment to making a difference in society is embedded in everything we do