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Revealed: The Purpose Gap

What your annual report says about your strength of purpose

Revealed The Purpose Gap Hero

Purpose has become commonplace. But are companies thinking deeply about what their purpose means and embedding it through their business? Are they truly using it to guide action to drive a stronger, more successful business?


Well, there’s a clear place anyone can look to get a sense for where a business is at when it comes to purpose: the annual report.


The reports of companies who have been progressive about purpose are relatively rare. A distinctive purpose is clearly stated early on. It’s interwoven throughout the report and is a guiding force in every major section. Everything links back to it.


Companies that haven’t been on that journey yet are more likely to have a generic purpose statement, a more sophisticated one that’s unwieldy in practice or simply no evidence of its influence. Ultimately, this amounts to a ‘purpose gap’ – a gap between how purpose is expressed and the actual role it is playing in the business.


A purpose gap will always reveal itself in a company’s annual report.


So: why does this matter? How can reporters establish whether they have an issue with the integration of their purpose through their report, or with the purpose itself? By exploring the role purpose should play in each of the key sections of an annual report, this paper tackles the ‘purpose gap’ head-on. 

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Revealed - The Purpose Gap

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