Over the past few years, a growing number of corporate leaders and experts have spoken out about how a strong shared sense of purpose can help companies meet these new challenges and transform their organizations. In order to understand why, and more importantly, how, companies are employing purpose to guide and lend impetus to their transformations, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services conducted a survey sponsored by the EY Beacon Institute. The global survey of 474 executives found that although there is near-unanimity in the business community about the value of purpose in driving performance, less than half of the executives surveyed said their company had actually articulated a strong sense of purpose and used it as a way to make decisions and strengthen motivation. Only a few companies appear to have embedded their purpose to a point where they have reaped its full potential. figure 1 But in those organizations where purpose had become a driver of strategy and decision-making, executives reported a greater ability to deliver revenue growth and drive successful innovation and ongoing transformation.
- Most executives believe purpose matters.
- 89% of executives surveyed said a strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction.
- 84% said it can affect an organization’s ability to transform.
- 80% said it helps increase customer loyalty.
- … but only a minority said their company currently runs in a purpose-driven way.
- 46% said their company has a strong sense of purpose while another 44% said their company is trying to develop one.