Having attended the City & Financial: 5th Annual Culture & Conduct Forum today, I took away clear messages around “purpose” – both all our own individual purposes and also for businesses to think carefully about what there’s are. It was insightful to reflect on firms formed years ago, many of which had clear and easy to understand purposes, with a lot being focussed on good societal areas.

It is clear that having a purpose alone is not enough by far. The purpose must work for all stakeholders – be they customers, clients, employees and shareholders. The purpose must also resonate across the organisation, and have meaning for staff at all levels – be they on the Board or in the firm’s front line.

Much focus has also been placed on “tone from the top” historically. Again, this arguably can miss the full picture – without support, middle management may find it difficult to practically understand how to best carry out “mission statements” and also operationally deliver them.

Finally, culture has to be lived and breathed. So, it’s no use discussing purpose, vision and values if they’re not authentic and aren’t sustainable across the business.

This is a very important topic and should be and remain front of mind in all organisations.