Tell me a story: The power of narrative in corporate leadership

In certain circles, corporations are seen as a pivotal part of solving the world’s problems. But just as many consumers -- particularly in the world’s industrialized economies -- aren’t inclined to trust them, according to a GlobeScan poll that surveyed people from 23 countries in January and February.

With this lack of public confidence, it’s not surprising that when it comes to sustainability, respondents don’t appear to have a clear picture of corporate leadership either.

So what companies do people see as socially and environmentally responsible? Why do some make the cut, and others don’t? Our recent poll – which is part of our Radar Research Program that tracks public opinion of business -- has discovered that there are certain factors that the public recognizes more than others – and that the power of a narrative should never be underestimated.

When asked about recognizable corporate leadership, respondents of the Radar Research poll mentioned a plethora of different names, but no clear leaders emerged in the results. Around half of those we polled were unable to cite any company that they see as a leader in corporate responsibility.

For whatever reason, efforts of businesses around the world to project a responsible message are failing to connect with the global public.

Photo of typed words provided by Ivelin Radkov via Shutterstock.

Next page: The main barrier to responsible business leadership