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Social impact

The Chair’s perspective

In this research, Chairs from many of the UK’s largest public and private companies have shared a glimpse into their Boards’ activities in driving a positive social impact, in challenging economic conditions.

It was clear from our conversations, that Chairs feel a real responsibility for their companies to contribute to society.

Advice from the Chairs we interviewed for the research, includes:

Take this seriously.

The Chairs we spoke with are passionate about encouraging their Executive to do the right thing for society. They believe this really matters and will help the business: motivating employees and providing a meaningful way of engaging with customers and other stakeholders.

Stay focused on the long-term.

The Board has a unique focus on the long-term: looking beyond immediate economic pressures to encourage the Executive to acknowledge the long-term opportunities that align social licence with profitability.

Be congruent with purpose.

In these conversations, Chairs told us of the fundamental nature of purpose: having a positive impact on society will only be effective if it authentically links to the heart of the business.

Be flexible and prepared to change.

In a fast-changing social and economic environment, organisations need a clear strategy that is nevertheless adaptable to circumstance. A clear narrative, describing the strategic intent, will help organisations to take stakeholders with them on the journey, including when they need to change course from time to time, to get to the right place.