‘Businesses have a wider responsibility to do something more than just focus on making a profit’


In a year marked by volatility and uncertainty, one of the clear themes that emerged in the latest Winmark Global report; the C-suite will seek to redefine their purpose and create long-term shareholder value across a wider range of stakeholders.

In fact, 43% of respondents identified enhanced stakeholder communications as a top five priority area for 2021 — up from 29% in 2020. Other priority areas, all showing a rise in importance from last year’s research, include strategy (47%), personal and team effectiveness (49%), technology (53%) and leadership (54%).

The research also highlights that despite confidence of a strong recovery, COVID has amplified disruptive forces and increased awareness around external threats which has led to a rise in the reprioritisation of risk.

The C-Suite 2021 & Beyond report, based on qualitative and quantitative research with more than 200 senior global executives, found that building and redefining a long-term purpose across multiple generations will form a key component of building trust and ‘social capital’ for the long-term.

“While there are some differences in focus across the C-suite roles, finding a better purpose was one of the key themes that executives identified as necessary for business success, not just in 2021 as we recover from the economic and social effects of the pandemic, but moving further into the future too,” says John Jeffcock, CEO Winmark Global.

“A core part of this is the fact that businesses have a wider responsibility to more stakeholders across a wider ecosystem and the drive to do something more than just focus on making a profit and keeping shareholders happy.”

Dr Steven Cooper, incoming CEO of Aldermore Bank and Chair of Experian UK says: “Contributing to building back a better, fairer, more diverse, inclusive society, whilst also doing much more on climate change will be areas where shareholders, colleagues and customers will be much more demanding. CEOs will need to demonstrate real and lasting tangible progress to a range of stakeholders, who will become increasingly vocal if not enough is being done.”

The Winmark C-Suite 2021 & Beyond report is based on research with over 200 senior executives, plus in-depth discussions with Winmark C-Suite members, across a range of departments, sectors and countries.