How to make your people 30% more engaged, 29% more joyful and 26% more productive. Easily.

If you knew, beyond doubt, that making 3 changes to your culture would make your people 30% more engaged, 29% more joyful and 26% more productive, would you make them?

What powers the performance of the most successful companies on the planet? What do they know that is lost on so many slow-moving traditional organisations?

It’s a question that we have spent the last couple of years researching with leading institutions including the Universities of Cambridge and Plymouth.

It’s a question we think we may have answered.

The purpose gap

That answer, of course, is rooted in the cultures of these organisations. Culture is unique to a particular organisation and takes years to build. But what if the key elements of how agile entrepreneurially-minded organisations behave could be codified and therefore replicated? What if it could be understood ‘at source’?

there’s a missing link between Purpose at the top and how it is received in the real business

Yes, it’s about clarity of purpose and that’s nothing new – 90% of CEOs now claim to be actively engaged in implementing or exploring Purpose. But it’s more nuanced than that. In large organisations, beset by complexity and legacy-thinking, there’s a missing link between Purpose at the top and how it is received in the real business.  That gap doesn’t appear in the best entrepreneurial businesses.

By studying the very best entrepreneurial thinking, combined with cutting-edge academic research, we believe we’ve identified why that is. It’s not about having a social purpose – it’s what you do with it.

Our research identifies 9 key attitudinal behaviours which drive business productivity and performance. And, in entrepreneurial businesses, these behaviours appear to be the outcomes of an actively engaged purpose. The key question is what is the source of these productive behaviours – and what is the missing link in more hierarchical, corporate organisations?

It’s not about having a social purpose – it’s what you do with it.

It’s clear that these ‘entrepreneurial’ behaviours are, to some degree, suppressed in most corporate organisations.  And the source of this appears to lie in a weakness in three key cultural markers; ownership, trust and contextual clarity. Research suggests that Purpose in the absence of these is unable support the positive performance behaviours typical in an agile culture.

A lack of ownership, trust and clarity creates a gap between purpose and people in the business.

And that’s where the Contexis Index® comes in. By understanding the cultural relationship between purpose and performance and codifying this, our research creates a tool that any business can use to transform its human capital and organisational performance.

The Index is a measurement tool that provides robust metrics that reveal how Purpose is working and where its effect is blocked.  It employs rigorous scales to assess a broad range of organisational performance metrics and links these back to Purpose through a defined set of cultural characteristics. The Index provides these metrics, in detail, by demographic (age, sex, seniority, time in business etc.) and location.

Data for the Index is gathered via a simple on-line Survey. Results are provided in a detailed Report with data presented graphically together with detailed analysis and recommendations. This will enable you to design highly targeted interventions to bridge the gap with a great deal of confidence since they are based on reliable empirical data.

And can the gap be bridged?

So far, the results of the initial companies to take the Index, whether they are entrepreneurial businesses or complex corporates, have been remarkable.

Purpose does drive performance. But only where it is activated.

 Activated purpose leads to an average increase (over the median employee) of 30% engagement, 36% in openness to new ideas, 29% in joy and 26% in performance. And the results are showing how this activation is achieved and how to bridge the gap between stating a purpose and bringing it alive in the business.

As Rupert Lee-Browne, CEO of FX group Caxton, observes “Without Purpose, a company can only flipflop around without truly consolidated, effective effort. What Contexis has developed with its Index is a very clever way to measure the impact of Purpose on Performance, enabling companies to really motivate their teams. Contexis Index did it for Caxton”.

And this is where you come in..

We are now ready to open the analysis to the next tranche of companies. We have the research funding to conduct a pro bono analysis of a limited number of organisations and we are looking for some specific types and scales of organisations. I’d love to hear from you if you would like to know more.

By undertaking this analysis, you will develop remarkable insights into how purpose is working in your organisation and to what extent the key markers of ownership, trust and contextual clarity are activating purpose across the business.

You will also be supporting important research by contributing wholly anonymised date to the University of Cambridge.

To find out more about how the Contexis Index can transform the impact of Purpose in your business and how you can help in this important research please contact me at jrosling@contexis.com.

To find out more about the thinking behind the methodology you might enjoy this short EthWord film 

 

John Rosling is a writer and lecturer on entrepreneurship, CEO of Contexis and Head of Thought at the Contexis Index; ever curious as to how entrepreneurial thinking is the key to activating purpose, stimulating agility and velocity and fulfilling human and commercial potential in global organisations.

 

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

You might be interested in…

Our TOP FIVE articles on Love

17th Apr 2018

@contexis

Contexis

Our TOP FIVE Articles on Trust

21st Feb 2018

@contexis

Contexis

Love in business. Are you completely crazy?

24th Jul 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling

How can you create ownership in a large organisation

17th Jul 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling

#PurposeLed? How to stop it being just a bandwagon

13th Jul 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling

Kindness in business – there’s a thought.

26th Jun 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling

Love in business? Absurd!

24th May 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling

How entrepreneurs manage when they don’t even know what the question is

29th Jan 2017

@jrosling

John Rosling - helping big companies harness the power of purpose through entrepreneurial thinking

The Neuroscience of Trust

19th Jan 2017

@pauljzak

Paul J Zak

Know your ‘why’ – Find your business purpose

14th Sep 2016

@Michaeljrcomedy

Michael jr

How to make corporate purpose more than just corporate jargon

23rd Jun 2016

@thehouse_bath

Steve Fuller

The Contexis Round Table Series – Purpose: Revolution or Bandwagon

16th Jun 2016

@jrosling

Contexis Round Table series

What we can learn about purpose from Elon Musk

24th May 2016

@DrSebBailey

Sebastian Bailey

Exponential Organizations

4th May 2016

Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and Yuri van Geest

Happiness is the new productivity.

11th Apr 2016

@jrosling

John Rosling - helping big companies

Growing your business on purpose

11th Feb 2016

@stevenfuller

Steve Fuller

The PURPOSE GAP

Contexis_John_Rosling_Agile_Teams

19th Jan 2016

@jrosling

John Rosling

Too good to be true?

18th Jan 2016

@jrosling

John Rosling

How business owners really see their business

1st Dec 2015

@jrosling

john rosling

Why purpose matters to marketers

26th Nov 2015

@paultwivy

Paul Twivy

Why purpose-led transformation trumps a drive for performance

26th Oct 2015

@ey_growth

EY Voice via Forbes

When success can lead to failure

10th Sep 2015

@davidmpinder

David Pinder

The Innovation Game

Contexis_John_Rosling_Agile_Teams

10th Aug 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling

Round Table: The entrepreneurial corporate

26th Jun 2015

@contexis

Contexis Round Table series

How to build teams that innovate under pressure

Contexis_John_Rosling_Agile_Teams

3rd Jun 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling

Tony Hsieh: Adopt holacracy or leave

30th Apr 2015

@Fastcompany

Fast Company

The costly truth about the SME market

30th Apr 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling

If you lead them, will they come?

21st Apr 2015

@jforrestspeaker

Jason Forrest

Why small businesses don’t trust corporates (even friendly ones)

11th Mar 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling, Contexis

No Borders?

8th Mar 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling, Contexis

The Control drug – going cold turkey as a leader?

1st Mar 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling, Contexis

Why the lean start up changes everything

22nd Feb 2015

@harvardbiz

Harvard Business Review

Love in the Boardroom?

15th Feb 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling

Will tech disrupt banking? How can it not?

1st Feb 2015

@@BI_Europe

Business Insider

The world is changing – do your sales people need a micro-MBA?

29th Jan 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling, Contexis

Five generations of employees slam together in corporate land

20th Jan 2015

@jrosling

John Rosling, Contexis