An international Media Group considered itself a global leader in purposeful business. But, even so, scepticism amongst some individuals was doing the business harm. The business had worked hard to establish a clear purpose, creating an internal Purpose secretariat with members in every office across its global operations to ensure purpose was truly lived across the organisation.
Understanding the puzzle of purpose scepticism
One of the most purposeful businesses ever measured
The culture attributes that activate purpose
The analysis showed that specific culture attributes were activating purpose. Where these were weak, the impact of purpose on performance was suppressed.
In some offices, lower levels of emotional ownership appeared to detach people from purpose and suppress its impact in their working lives. In others it was a weakness in trust. These cultural factors had a far greater impact on purpose activation than factors of gender, geography, ethnicity, age, practice, how long people had worked in the organisation or how aware they were of the purpose message.
The organisation now had a clear set of metrics, by office and division, that showed purpose performance. But, far more significantly explained where purpose was blocked and why. This allowed the Secretariat to focus energy and resources on specific parts of the business with highly targeted messages and interventions.
“What is remarkable is that the research exactly matches and explains what we see on the ground. Without exception, those offices that measure the highest purpose activation are our strongest commercial performers and visa versa. As a KPI and lead indicator of financial performance I can’t imagine anything more reliable” Group Chief Financial Officer