Publications & Thought Leadership

November 2021

Purpose Governance Framework: Your Board Roadmap for Developing and Governing a Corporate Purpose

Posted in Sustainable Boards

The Purpose Governance Framework is a comprehensive set of steps and roles board of directors can play to have oversight of their company’s purpose. The Purpose Governance Framework recognizes that a company’s board is responsible for ensuring the corporation pursues and fulfills its Purpose. Boards need to ensure the company’s Purpose remains relevant and future-fit, and that it drives strategy and decision-making. They need evidence the company is executing on its Purpose.

The Purpose Governance Framework provides an overview of the steps boards and governance professionals can follow in developing and governing a corporate Purpose – and in ensuring its consistent, effective, and authentic execution.

The Purpose Governance Framework is an “all-in” set of ideas for the role of the board designed for those seeking a comprehensive overview of potential practices. The Purpose Governance Framework is divided into two parts, based on whether the company already has an up-to-date purpose:

  • Part 1: 5 Steps to Developing, Codifying or Refreshing a Social Purpose
  • Part 2: 21 Steps to Governing your Purpose

Boards and their management teams are encouraged to review the Purpose Governance Framework to determine how far on the corporate social purpose governance path their organization is today, and where it would like to be in the future. This gap and opportunity assessment can become the basis for a board and management discussion on where the organization would like to advance, and by when.

The Purpose Governance Framework represents the next evolution of best corporate governance practices and offers practical tips on what boards can do today.

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