Framing Corporate Purpose

Matthew Gobush, global planning and advocacy manager at ExxonMobil, joined us to discuss how he led his organization’s internal efforts to frame its corporate purpose and following the release of BusinessRoundtable statement. 

ExxonMobil began by trying to better understand what exactly their corporate purpose was and how they could better articulate it to stakeholders. This resulted in a ground-up internal and external effort within the business. The process involved getting input from the leadership team and opinion leaders, conducting an intensive internal review and surveying employees. Through these exercises, ExxonMobil arrived at its purpose by looking at the intersection of what human needs the organization fills in society and what its distinctive strengths are. 

Developing a particular corporate purpose and articulating it properly helped the organization across all aspects of its business. As a global organization, this internal process allowed ExxonMobil to leverage its competitive advantages in supply chain integration and better position themselves to create more value around the world. 

ExxonMobil believes having the pulse of the employees is crucial when framing its corporate purpose, which is why the feedback from its employee survey was a guiding resource throughout the process. Early on, the organization brought in the human resources team to ensure they were also incorporating future employees as well as current ones to ensure that tomorrow’s workforce is as strong as today’s. 

Through this framework, ExxonMobil was able to effectively look inward and examine its corporate culture in order to redefine its purpose and better articulate it to internal and external stakeholders.