The growing drumbeat for a new form of capitalism – stakeholder not shareholder focused, purposeful, brave, one that benefits many if not all – is no passing fad.
The chaos brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated demands for change. As the simple formula of R=P-E, Reputation equals Performance less Expectations, then COVID-19 can be characterised as the new consciousness and awakening of things that are no longer acceptable, calling for systemic changes that matter.
Organizations that view themselves as stewards of reputations and trust will be mindful of gaps between their current performance and commitments against the rising tide of increased expectations of ‘building back better’.
With 2020 hindsight, we have now entered the age of accelerated awareness and expectations – internally and externally. Identifying, understanding and mapping those changes with solid proof and evidence are part and parcel of professional accountability which includes planning for success based on purpose and delivery.
Echo’s latest research into Trust in the Time of COVID highlights some of the gaps – and possible traps – encapsulated by these 5 ‘Es’:
Employees - as engines of change; while leaders claim to be putting people first, that is not how many are feeling
Empathy - concerns around mental health, long hours, juggling home and work environments and worry over health and economic well-being dominate conversations which leaders need to consider
Equity - and fairness in relation to Diversity & Inclusion, equal pay and opportunity – especially for the young and disadvantaged - are now firmly on the agenda and good leaders are building mentoring and development programs to ensure this is addressed
Ethics – a key driver of criticism of businesses encompassing transparency, remuneration, taxation and living up to commitments - if not walking the talk
Expectation in better – in mindset and action; not just words or initiatives
COVID has ushered in new era of activating purpose and purposeful measurement driven by meaningful data.
I, for one, am excited about this change as we all aim for better.