The Contexis Index has been adopted by companies across the globe with analysis conducted on businesses on every continent.
So what is this revealing about purpose and its real impact?
The numbers are clear and remarkably consistent across business types, sizes and across cultures. Purpose supports human happiness and real business performance.
What is clear is that it is not about having a purpose but about activating it in the lives of people across the organisation. If that is successfully done the results can be extraordinary.
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.
But 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 three very specific cultural attributes. These are the degree to which purpose is believed to be the clear and authentic driver of business decisions, the extent to which it is trusted as such, and how far people feel they can take emotional ownership for it.
For businesses this is therefore a far more nuanced conversation that 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.