Purpose led companies-the role of the board?

A recent McKinsey survey of over 1200 managers and front line employees reported that 82% believed it was important that their company have a purpose, and 62% said that their company actually had a purpose statement, but only 42% of them said that their organizations' purpose statements were having any impact. This disconnect is in part due to the fact that many purpose statements are so generic as to be meaningless, as well as to the fact that many purpose statements are completely disconnected from the things that employees and other stakeholders believe are important. Boards are increasingly aware that they have a clear oversight responsibility to ensure that their organizations are truly purpose-led. But what does that mean in practice? This talk will address the following topics:

  • What is purpose? How is it defined? And what is Purpose-Driven Board Leadership?
  • Why should boards care about the definition of Purpose?
  • What are the best practices around developing Purpose Statements?
  • What should boards do to ensure that their organizations' purpose is actually making a difference?


12 PM - 12:05 PM
Welcome & Introductions
by Deborah Rosati
12:05 PM - 12:40 PM
12:40 PM - 12:55 PM
12:55 PM - 1 PM
Thank you & wrap up


  • Mary Larson, MBA, ICD.D (Partner, Consulting Services at MNP LLP)

    Mary Larson, MBA, ICD.D

    Partner, Consulting Services at MNP LLP


    Mary is a Partner in MNP Consulting and leads the Firm’s National Organizational Renewal Practice. Having played global strategic leadership roles as a senior executive for leading international companies and as a partner in top-tier consulting firms, Mary has built a broad set of skills around strategy, sustainability and organizational culture.

    Mary serves as a trusted advisor to CEOs and senior executives in the US, Canada and Europe on strategy, culture, governance, and leadership, and has led culture and organization transformation initiatives in multi-billion-dollar companies and crown corporations.

    She has held senior executive positions with McDonald’s Corporation in the U.S. and Alcan in Canada. She started her career with the Boston Consulting Group in the U.S. and worked in Canada for McKinsey and Co., Oliver Wyman, and A.T. Kearney.

    Her commitment to sustainability over two decades has led to a national leadership role in ESG (Environment, Social and Governance). She currently serves on the Advisory Board for Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and is the Chair of the Advisory Board of McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies.

    She earned an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business

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  • Sandra Porteous (Senior Manager and Leader, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practice at MNP)

    Sandra Porteous

    Senior Manager and Leader, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practice at MNP


    Sandra Porteous, B.Ed, M.Ed is a Sr Manager, Consulting Services with MNP’s Consulting Group inToronto. Sandra has created multi-year Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Accessibility Strategies forCrown Corporations, Federal and Provincial Government Agencies.

    Her lifelong passion for equity work started as a journalist in male dominated news organizations and most recently saw her becoming the first Director of Inclusion and Engagement for both CBC and theOntario transit agency–Metrolinx.

    Sandra has worked on a long list of Culture Change projects including the merger of Radio News withTV News in 10 key CBC Stations. She was a member of the CBC’s Joint Union-ManagementEmployment Equity Committee working on the Code of Conduct and Respect in the Workplace training.

    She has conducted Focus Groups with members of Equity Seeking groups that led to key actions and substantive changes to policies and processes–including unbiased hiring practices, meeting culture and demographics with a Cultural Census implementation plan, KPIs for Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Resource Groups.

    Sandra has experience with Affirmative Inquiry, Growth Mindset (vs Fixed Mindset) training, identification of DEI Goals and Metrics and in designing training around Bias, How to Be an Ally, Microaggressions, Building an Anti-Racist organization and Sponsorship of Equity Seeking groups.

    She has worked with a variety of teams to ensure they are culturally competent and has created several internal Leadership Programs including the Developing Diverse Employees Leadership program to fast track current employees into Leadership roles.

    She is passionate about the work of creating a thriving, inclusive community by fostering a customized approach to the work of equity, diversity and inclusion where all employees and members experience the powerful sense of belonging

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Purpose led companies-the role of the board?

Single Ticket for WGOB Members

Member Price Free
Purpose led companies-the role of the board?

Single ticket for Non-WGOB Members

Standard Price C$40