Last week, the Penta team joined Axios Communicators in New York City for an event exploring the outsized role that communication and leadership play in today’s world.
In a View from the Top segment, Penta Senior Partner Mike Berland sat down with Axios Publisher Nicholas Johnston to discuss how CEOs can effectively own a company’s purpose. In today’s stakeholder economy, a company’s purpose is driven by the issues that matter most to their stakeholders. To succeed, CEOs need comprehensive intelligence to identify their stakeholders and define their purpose, as well as strategic communication to encourage buy-in and inform decision making.
“It’s really simple. The CEO owns a brand’s purpose. A good CEO is asking themselves why does my brand exist? And what am I contributing to today’s society?” said Mike Berland.
Businesses today must handle increasingly complex, global, and public challenges. Now more than ever, leaders face significant reputational risk and a growing set of engaged stakeholders with distinct, fast-changing demands. It is essential for CEOs to get ahead of crises through strategic and comprehensive stakeholder engagement. At the same time, CEOs cannot communicate their purpose alone. The most successful organizations have an integrated understanding of their stakeholders and a unified approach to purpose.
“The CEO has to have the vision…but understanding how to communicate it down and to get that alignment and engagement with the stakeholders is the trick…The most important person in purpose is your lowest level employee. It has to be all throughout the organization. Everyone has to know what their purpose is and be aligned to it,” said Mike Berland.
The importance of driving a company’s purpose through stakeholder solutions was echoed by the other insightful participants of the Axios Communicators event, including former Walt Disney CCO and Bob Iger confidante Zenia Mucha, Spotify Global Head of Public Affairs Dustee Jenkins, Volkswagen America CEO Pablo Di Si and CCO Cameron Batten, and The Ankler CEO Janice Min. For more insights from the event, check out the full video.
For more insights from the event, check out our latest episode of “What’s at Stake: A Penta Podcast” here.