When was the last time you thought about your company's mission statement? Maybe it appears on a slide deck that employees see in their onboarding process, or spotlighted in the annual report. Or perhaps your company's website features some aspirational statements or discusses a few initiatives to help the local community.

While most companies have some type of socially positive goal, it usually takes a back seat to making money. But for some companies, a corporate purpose is actually much, much more—it's a powerful force that animates every part of the organization, aligning activities and motivating a diverse array of stakeholders.

Sparked by the pandemic, employees have begun to seek greater meaning in going to work every day. In the midst of the resulting Great Resignation, companies are finding that having a deeper purpose can help them retain, focus, and motivate a talented workforce. Similarly, a deep purpose—proven through actions—can inspire significant customer loyalty and drive stronger long-term relationships with business partners.

Should your company transform your mission statement into a true deep purpose? And how can you make it happen? In our new Executive Insights piece, discover what HBS Professor Ranjay Gulati's new research has to say about the nature of deep purpose and how it is benefiting today's companies. You'll learn how your organization can get started in its quest to find deeper purpose and achieve greater success—financial and beyond.

Three executives in a discussion outside the HBS classroom

Related Faculty Book: Deep Purpose: The Heart and Soul of High-Performing Companies By Ranjay Gulati.

About the Author

Anita Mushlin is the Assistant Director for Content at Harvard Business School, Executive Education.