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The Newsletter | Edition 049 | Off-White Paper 2.0
Progress Report is dedicated to providing inspiration for action. In our Off-White Papers, we provide practical guidance on how to respond to our rapidly-changing world. This newsletter explores those topics in real-time, with information and action steps on how to make progress now.

But in this special newsletter series, The State Of, we dive a little deeper into the long-term work that comes after, in the places where we’re seeing new types of progress in action. From brand strategy to design, internet trends to sustainability, music to science, beauty to travel, and more.

This week, The State Of is digging into our just-launched Off-White Paper on organizational purpose. Why it creates cohesion and clarity across any business, how to encode it within your teams so it actually accomplishes something, and why, at scale, it can have massive downstream effects on the wellbeing of people and the planet.
In our latest Off-White Paper, written in collaboration with our friends at Kindred, we explore the process of defining company purpose, identifying and serving all of your constituencies, and most importantly, how to encode this purpose into your organization by managing stakeholders, identifying the right time horizon, incentivizing employees, and building feedback loops.

Progress Report was born from conversations at the start of a pandemic we didn't yet understand, in a moment of clear and present crisis. Our first Off-White Paper and this newsletter were a response to clients (and others) telling us they needed less talking and more actions they could take to face that crisis. We began researching, forming new tools and new strategies to proactively face the changing dynamics we were all confronting, and we shared them. Inspiration For Action.

While that crisis isn’t yet behind us, there have been other crises that we’ve been ill-prepared for because, unlike Covid-19, they have been coming on slowly. The climate crisis, wealth inequality, racial and gender inequity, the list goes on. All of us proverbial frogs in a pot.

The reality is, business is one of the central pillars of modern society. Business is more trusted than governments, NGOs, and the media. And that trust is coming with greater responsibility and expectations for companies. People are looking to businesses to begin solving the pressing issues of our time. It’s not just customers, employees are holding employers to a higher bar as well.

While we believe in the power of brands to enact change in the world—not in a pollyannaish way—building companies that can actually do it demands an organizational purpose that goes beyond the bounds of brand. An organizational purpose is all encompassing, impacting all decisions a company makes. And before you pull back for fear of another fluffy business book concept, organizations with strong “purpose clarity” have predictably stronger future accounting and stock market performance.

Our latest Off-White Paper—Encoding Organizational Purpose: Designing For Progress In A World Demanding More—tackles just this issue.


Download that OWP.

We chose to partner with Kindred for the paper because they’re an organization doing the work to train and support leaders who believe in these ideas. Building a more purposeful future, where we hold ourselves and those we do business with to a higher standard, demands community. They’re a group in the world doing the work to create that community.

We hope you enjoy this new Off-White Paper. As ever, if you have thoughts or comments on it, please share them our way. While we put a lot of time and energy into the creation of this paper, it's a step in the process of building collective knowledge. Its ideas and tools should be iterated upon, and we’d love to hear the ways in which you improve the practices over time.

We hope you enjoy it, and if you do, share it around. Making progress is a team sport.

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