No matter who you are, or whether you work for an agency, brand or vendor you will have to agree that we are in a very unique time in history. Actors, businesses, consumers, politicians, are all being taken to task as we all want more accountability. When results are not being delivered there is a breakup that occurs. The #metoo movement continues to shine a much needed light on inequality while #45 to make a mockery of well everyone as Twitter continues to allow his hatred, racist and sexist speech a voice. He makes them money is considered a leader so they allow him to continue using Twitter.
Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock an asset management companybof over $6.3 trillion dollars wrote his annual letter to CEO’s last week, but his words are something that you need to make sure you read.
Society wants more, and you are going to be held accountable for your actions that have an impact on the business. Here are a few of Larry’s thoughts that stand out:
“In order to make engagement with shareholders as productive as possible, companies must be able to describe their strategy for long-term growth. I want to reiterate our request, outlined in past letters, that you publicly articulate your company’s strategic framework for long-term value creation and explicitly affirm that it has been reviewed by your board of directors. This demonstrates to investors that your board is engaged with the strategic direction of the company. When we meet with directors, we also expect them to describe the board process for overseeing your strategy.
“The statement of long-term strategy is essential to understanding a company’s actions and policies, its preparation for potential challenges, and the context of its shorter-term decisions. Your company’s strategy must articulate a path to achieve financial performance. To sustain that performance, however, you must also understand the societal impact of your business as well as the ways that broad, structural trends — from slow wage growth to rising automation to climate change — affect your potential for growth …
“Companies must ask themselves: What role do we play in the community? How are we managing our impact on the environment? Are we working to create a diverse workforce? Are we adapting to technological change? Are we providing the retraining and opportunities that our employees and our business will need to adjust to an increasingly automated world? Are we using behavioral finance and other tools to prepare workers for retirement, so that they invest in a way that that will help them achieve their goals?
“As we enter 2018, BlackRock is eager to participate in discussions about long-term value creation and work to build a better framework for serving all your stakeholders. Today, our clients — who are your company’s owners — are asking you to demonstrate the leadership and clarity that will drive not only their own investment returns, but also the prosperity and security of their fellow citizens. We look forward to engaging with you on these issues.”