Why consider factors beyond making money in your strategic thinking?

I think CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone puts it best, “The bank has a significant presence in Australia which means we have responsibility to focus on the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities.” And from Georgia Nielsen of Sims Metals, “It isn’t driven by governments. It’s driven by each corporation’s values, and the strength of the leaders at the top.

The strength of the leaders at the top.  Nielsen is implying that to lead with your values intact takes strength. Through our own work with senior leaders at CBA we can see how values are driving a new form of leadership.

A brave leadership relies on some being the hero and many following fast. Leadership which stands up for what they know is right, not what has been done before.

And more than that about not letting what has been done before or ‘the way we do things around here’ get in the way of making values based decisions aligned with purpose. 

Livingstone gives some illuminating, real live examples from CBA examples “For example, the financial abuse dimension of domestic abuse, financial literacy more broadly, mitigating the impact of disasters on people’s finances, encouraging customers to think about climate risks for their homes, which are usually their main financial asset.”

Question: What skills do you equip you and your team with to empower them to step up to this challenge? 


And for those of you thinking, “Yep we’ve got those skills”

So then: What habits are built into your business practices to reinforce a supportive environment when leaders make values based choices regardless of outcome?

Boards understand that a purpose that lives is critical

“The report shows 81 per cent of ASX 100 companies have incorporated ESG metrics in their CEO’s remuneration. Across all industries, at least half of the Australian companies have incorporated ESG measures.” 

However from a qualitative perspective, the 2020 KPMG survey of Australian CEOs showed there is still a disconnect between strategy and purpose; unbelievably 62% say  that declining customer trust is not an issue for them and one in two (52%) of Australia’s CEOs (and 67% of CEOs globally) are concerned about their readiness to respond to a crisis. This tells us that tangible changes in what people do and how they do it within a business, activation, is more critical than ever. It will improve our readiness to respond to a crisis and mitigate the chances we need to do so within an unreasonably short a time frame.

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Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash