Some corporate culture experts point to Black Lives Matter. Others say it is the soul-wringing work-life decisions forced on CEOs during the pandemic. Still others date large companies’ engagement with social justice issues back to the early days of the #MeToo movement.
Jeff Stoner, an executive coach in Minneapolis, said he has been fielding deeper questions from his corporate clients for years about purpose and priorities. “I was finding in so many of my coaching engagements that we were talking about things that could be defined as spiritual or faith-centered,” said Stoner, a senior vice president at a large corporate leaders consultancy firm.
These leaders aren’t asking these questions for themselves alone. What’s best for the bottom line is no longer found only on a balance sheet, but in ethical calculations that impact a company’s ability to hire top talent from a workforce brought up on volunteerism, social engagement and notions of corporate responsibility in areas such as race, climate and even partisan politics.