“Misfortune is virtue's opportunity.”
- Seneca, Roman Stoic Philosopher, 64 A.D.
Even before the spread of COVID-19 had been labelled a pandemic, it had infected the global economy with a panic not seen since the Great Recession. For individuals, social distancing might be the best practice. For companies, it is ill-advised. A global shift is redefining the contract between businesses and their communities from simply being "responsible" to creating real social value. This is the new frontier for sustainability. This is Social Purpose. Now is the time for companies to recalibrate their thinking, to focus on tackling societal challenges as much as creating shareholder value. Embracing their Social Purpose can help companies not only survive the crisis, but emerge stronger.
Today’s articles highlight several ways companies can (and are) taking a Social Purpose approach to the pandemic. Common among all of them is a focus on employee welfare. Your workforce is the lifeblood of your company, your brand, and your community. You’ll need them when times improve - they need to know you’re there for them when times are tough. Making it easier for them to protect themselves and their families builds loyalty, trust, and contributes to bringing a swift end to the current situation.
This crisis also presents a unique opportunity to serve the community while burnishing your brand. Companies that fail to capitalize on the benefits of a Social Purpose approach might find themselves at a competitive disadvantage later on.
The storm is raging. The strongest businesses offer safe harbor.