Cristiano Busco

Speaker, Trainer, Author, Professor of Accounting, Reporting & Sustainability.

Nestlé Case

Nestlé Foodprint

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Purpose To Impact

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Novartis Case

Integrated thinking in action - A spotlight on Novartis

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Ernst & Young Study

The future of Corporate Reporting

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The 4 pillars of a sustainable business


Purpose is presented as the company’s enduring reason for existence, which is generally communicated as a statement that capture the organization’s contribution to Society. Articulating a corporate Purpose is challenging as it entails a process of mediation that connects organizational leaders’ aspiration with the needs of its key internal and external stakeholders, including society. Multiplicity and diversity are valuable inputs to this process, as the organization deals with different partners that demand value creation to be achieved and shared through the company’s outputs and outcomes. So, while a corporate Purpose must be impactful, such an impact will affect the existing “ties” among the organization’s internal and external stakeholders.


If corporate Purpose gives sense to the company’s raison d’être, a Strategy offer a pathway for travelling. A “Purposeful Strategy” imagines a desirable future for the organization and its stakeholders and set the expectations about the multiple future objectives and performance to be pursued and achieved. In this sense, while Purpose (articulation and communication) and Strategy (identification and execution) are key milestones within the company’s management system, a Purposeful Strategy summarizes the decisions and encompasses the promises that organization’s leaders convey investors, business analysts and other interested stakeholders regarding the future challenges of the company and the paths towards possible solutions.


Achieving Sustainable Value Creation depends on methods to manage the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the markets landscape and adjust the business model to the emerging challenges. In most cases, minor adjustments are not enough as Purposeful Strategy calls for Innovation (product, process, managerial) to be effective. Innovation entails enactingthe imagined future happen and requires rethinking the organization as it develops at the intersection of aspirations, inclusion, and actions. Innovation builds on a (un)balancing act between idealism and realism, imagination and existing needs, positive impact on society and maintaining financial viability. Innovation is likely to impact on the existing trade-offs among stakeholders, generating new ones.


To confirm that Innovation, or other less-radical adjustments to business models, contributed to the execution of a tangible Purposeful Strategy, Impact must be evaluated. Being a change in an outcome caused by an organisation, impact can be positive or negative, intended or unintended2 .The estimation and management of Impact is a balancing act that requires measurement and wise judgement to assess, among others, the outcome the enterprise is contributing to; which stakeholders are experiencing the outcome; what degree of change they experienced; the likelihood of achieving that change anyway; the risk that impact will be different than expected. Achieving Sustainable Value Creation requires mediating multiple stakeholders’ in-tensions and the heterogeneous performance at stake.

Cristiano Busco

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