Profit, People and Purpose: How CEOs and Companies Can Be Their Most Authentic Self in the Transparent Age

Abortion rights. Climate change. Banned books. Discrimination. Gun control. LGBTQIA+ issues. Within the last five years, we’ve witnessed CEOs and their companies pushed (or be pushed) to take a stand on social issues like never before. 

According to the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report, 82 and 80 percent of employees expect CEOs to speak out on climate change and discrimination, respectively. The pressure also comes from outside the employee base, as customers, investors and the communities the companies operate in ask for public statements on societal and political issues. 

More and more people want to know what the companies they buy from, live near, or patronize stand for, who and what they support, how their operations impact the community around them and beyond, and to which politicians they and their senior executives donate. According to another Edelman study,  “In Brands We Trust?, “53 percent of consumers agree that every brand has a responsibility to get involved in at least one social issue that does not directly impact its business.”

How to proceed?

We share our viewpoint and steps CEOs and companies should take to best maneuver around speaking out when social issues come about in our newest POV: People, Profits and Purpose: How CEOs and Companies Can Be Their Most Authentic Self in the Transparent Age.

Building a strategic framework supported by a company’s purpose, mission and values, sets a CEO, the communications team and the organization up for success when navigating social and political issues. It’s about quality, not quantity. It’s not about if an issue arises but when. Can you confidently say you’re ready?