How to Improve Business Performance Through Activating Purpose

Being a purposeful company is not only about creating social good, it can also improve business performance.  However, not all organisations who claim to be purposeful will achieve this. What makes the difference is whether purpose has been activated in the lives of people across the organisation. Our measurement system, the Contexis Index, has been adopted by companies across the globe with analysis conducted on every continent. The numbers are clear and remarkably consistent across business types, sizes and across cultures. Purpose supports human happiness and real business performance.


Identifying which of your people have an activated purpose

In every business we have measured, there is a group of people for whom the company’s purpose is truly alive. And another, usually much larger group, for whom it isn’t. These purpose-positive people are not just more joyful and fulfilled but dramatically more committed, responsible, open and engaged than their peers. They are clearer on strategy, more willing to trust the company and much more likely to stay.

Being aware of the company purpose is not the same as actually living it 

This is not about how aware they are of the company purpose – awareness has a minimal impact. It is about how alive it feels to them. And what brings it to life are 3 very specific cultural attributes:

  1. The degree to which purpose is believed to be the clear and authentic driver of business decisions
  2. The extent to which it is trusted as such
  3. How far people feel they can take emotional ownership for it.

So this is a far more nuanced conversation than most people acknowledge. Getting purpose right is only the start. Bringing it to life requires a real focus on consistently and authentically living it in the strategy of the business, building radical levels of trust, and encouraging a culture of ownership for all.

And that means a change in how most leaders lead. But the rewards are remarkable. We see companies who bring purpose to life measuring extraordinary leaps in human and organisational performance with real and measurable outputs in terms of commercial return. They are able to improve business performance by having an activated purpose.


How you can measure the activation of purpose in your company

Our measurement system, the Contexis Index, assists organisations in measuring how purpose is really working to shift beliefs and behaviours across the organisation. The Contexis Index was developed with researchers at Cambridge University to provide real numbers by focusing on the impact of purpose on the DNA of the organisation itself while answering two questions:

  • To what extent is purpose driving performance in my organisation?
  • How and why is it working and where is it blocked?

The Contexis Index measures the root cause of engagement and productivity at its source within the context of the business’s strategic direction or purpose.

Read more about how taking the Index has impacted real business
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