The win-win shift powering business performance - Sustainable Business 2022


06 / 09 / 2022

What do we call the purpose gap? And how can businesses embed purpose to drive meaningful societal change and earn long-term, sustainable growth?

Our article, The win-win shift powering business performance, in The Times’ ‘Sustainable Business 2022’ report details the evolution and importance of purpose, our research behind the purpose gap, and explains why businesses urgently need to embed purpose into the fabric of their organisation.

We recently completed a survey with 2,000 UK employees and found that 69% of those at large businesses felt their company’s purpose conflicted – or only partially aligned – with how it operates daily. Worryingly, two-thirds (64%) at large businesses also said their business had changed only a little, or not at all, since it set out its purpose.

This is what we call the purpose gap, highlighting a clear gulf between the ambition of senior leaders and the reality of workers’ experiences.

Why is it important to close the purpose gap?

Today, with the clock ticking on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the climate crisis reaching a point of no return, purpose is helping business address the threats facing our planet and society while also boosting its bottom line.

Purpose-driven companies also attract and retain the best talent, innovate more and enjoy greater loyalty from customers. It is proven that businesses without purpose embedded into their strategy and culture are largely failing to reap the rewards that being purpose-driven generates. 

What are the five essential practices to embed purpose? 

To use purpose to drive meaningful societal change and earn long-term, sustainable growth, it must be woven into the fabric of the organisation. After spearheading work on purpose for over 12 years, we have identified five essential practices to help businesses embark on a purpose-transformation programme: Governance, Leadership, Colleague engagement, Brand & innovation, and Metrics & measurement.

These are interconnected elements of one complete purpose-transformation programme, all combining to put purpose at the heart of decision-making, customer experience, employee engagement and, ultimately, the balance sheet.

If you’re ready to think about purpose as a complete management strategy and embed it in your organisation, download the second edition of the Given Insiders’ Guide To Purpose and explore the specifics of the five essential practices.


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