Publications & Thought Leadership

May 2024

Purpose Governance Guidelines for Boards

Posted in Sustainable Boards

Corporate governance standards and expectations continue to evolve in response to rising demands from investors, regulators, and stakeholders – and in response to continuous improvement on the part of high-performing boards. In recent years, with more companies clarifying their purpose as their meaningful reason to exist, their boards are beginning to broaden their oversight role to include purpose. Board purpose oversight is referred to as “Purpose Governance” in these Purpose Governance Guidelines for Boards.

“Purpose Governance Guidelines for Boards” provides guidance to boards of directors on how to govern and provide oversight of their company’s purpose.

It sets out four main oversight responsibilities for boards in stewarding successful execution of the company’s purpose:

  1. Strategy and Culture
  2. Performance Management
  3. Monitoring and Reporting
  4. Governance Protocols

Within each responsibility there are a number of practices for those just starting out, and for those who are further along the maturity path. They are framed as twenty questions directors could ask the board or management.

Purpose Governance Guidelines for Boards are based on a comprehensive literature scan of board purpose guidance from around the world. Purpose Governance Guidelines for Boards provides both a board purpose governance framework and sample practices of leading boards.

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