future matters

Transformational purpose

18 February 2019

Transformational purpose

What role does purpose play in business transformation?

It’s easy to talk about change, but much more difficult to change yourself. You need to have a clear purpose for change, a burning platform that drives you. This intrinsic motivation can be a must change or a want to change, you either ‘feel the heat’ or ‘see the light’.  We know this is true for people, but what is the role of purpose in business transformation?

The EY Beacon Institute partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS) to conduct a global survey of 474 executives from across different sectors and geographies to investigate the business case for purpose. The survey defined organizational purpose as “an aspirational reason for being which inspires and provides a call to action for an organization and its partners and stakeholders and provides benefit to local and global society.”

Some key findings: 89% of executives believe purpose matters as a driver for employee satisfaction, transformation ability and customer loyalty. However, only 46% indicates their company has a strong sense of purpose. Executives from companies that treat purpose as a core driver of strategy and decision-making reported greater ability to drive successful innovation and transformational change. More than half (53%) of executives at companies with a strong sense of purpose said their organization is successful with innovation and transformation efforts, while less than one-fifth (19%) report success at companies who have not thought about purpose.

The report concludes that purpose is a powerful but underutilized asset.

Has your company articulated their purpose? Does it work as a call to action for change?