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Unlocking the power of purpose

C-suite insights: how purpose delivers long-term value

While purpose was dismissed by many as a hype, new research has now shown that corporate purpose is essential to guide organizations and their people through ever changing & turbulent times. A large majority of the surveyed Belgian CEOs and Board believe that a clear purpose positively contributes to sustainable value creation for their organisation, its stakeholders and society at large. Organisations with gender diverse Boards score even higher in recognising purpose as an imperative and embedding purpose within their organisation.

These are the main conclusions of a survey about purpose among 116 Belgian CEOs and directors. The research was jointly conducted by Deloitte Belgium and Vlerick Business School and charts how much value Belgian organizations attach to purpose and its implementation within their organization and towards their stakeholders.

Highlights include:

  • The importance of purpose is high on the radar: The research reveals that 90% of the responding Belgian organisations strongly believe that having a clear purpose contributes positively to long-term performance. 80% of surveyed organisations has a written purpose statement. 78% of the survey population indicated that their purpose statement is translated into a set of concrete strategic objectives.
  • Embedding purpose into practice could be better: Only 63% of the CEOs and directors surveyed think that their organization's employees are sufficiently familiar with the purpose; and only 54% think employees sufficiently understand its impact on their daily activities. Only 1 in 3 indicate that progress on purpose and achievement of those objectives is actually measured against predetermined financial and non-financial performance indicators.
  • Gender diversity at Board level is a key differentiator: Boards that score high on gender diversity rate the importance of purpose and the anchoring through the strategies, decision and communication within their organization higher.

The publication offers a comprehensive and articulated understanding of purpose in the Belgian corporate world, including interesting insights, best practices and challenges. In addition, 9 recommendations are made to demonstrate how companies can bring purpose to live.