A CEO takes a walk with his 20-something daughter. She says, 'Dad, why the heck do you work for a bank?' And he can’t answer that question. So began the purpose journey of a multi-billion dollar international bank.
For years, financial institutions have donated millions of dollars via their CSR budgets. Yet these same financial institutions have directly contributed to events like the Global Financial Crisis. Might it be possible for a major international bank to focus equally on shareholder return and a broader societal impact? With my extensive design experience on both the for-profit and non-profit sides of the coin, this project was a fascinating hybrid approach to social impact for me.
I led three phases of work, which began with educating the CEO and his leadership team on the 'purpose of purpose'. Next we spent two+ months embedded with the company to get to know employees and customers, from the very top to the very bottom of the org chart. Once we landed on a purpose, we designed the roadmap for rolling it out at the bank as a movement and not as merely words on a plaque. The last phase of work focused on designing bold, purpose-led actions that the company could take to begin living purpose in the world.