The impact of the ongoing health crisis is unprecedented. Experts believe the situation could worsen further. Thankfully the government is doing everything possible to fight the menace and support those in immediate need of assistance. Beyond sustenance, people are now asking for more than just random acts of humanitarianism. Wrote Frank Cooper III, a senior managing director of BlackRock in the HBR column.

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Photo by Mohammad Rezaie on Unsplash

Broader Long-term Impact

Cooper III added that earlier the situation was relatively in control. People requested businesses to “lead with purpose and humanity.” But now the expectations are moving towards a more sustained, thoughtful response from the business community.

He applauded the efforts and humanitarian grants by big corporates.  These measures are “laudably altruistic” and “undoubtedly benefit the community.” But the impact of these measures is very unlimited and unsustainable, Cooper III wrote.

He highlighted the budget limitation and the disconnect between core operations and humanitarian works. Corporate crisis response becomes much more meaningful when this becomes part of the primary business.

Building Purpose-Driven Company

Underlining the importance of ‘purpose’ and the benefits it has in unifying whole cadre, they wrote that a purpose-driven approach gives its leaders the courage and conviction to navigate uncertainty and fear.

He highlighted the good work Microsoft is doing with purpose. Cooper III and Gulati quoted Satya Nadella saying, “Your core business model must be aligned with the world around you doing well.”

Whether it is “Rise” of Mahindra Group of India or “democratize financial services” of PayPal, it is a purpose that helped both these behemoths plan and connect better with customers.

“Rather than just doing good works in the name of purpose, let your purpose guide your response.” Wrote Cooper III and Gulati.

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