In the three years since we began studying CEO perspectives on the role of purpose, we have interviewed over 2,100 CEOs from around the world. Over time, and across several markets, our findings reveal one common, unifying thread: purpose drives progress.
Welcome to the CEO Purpose Report 2021.
CEOs surveyed this year
CEOs surveyed since 2019
CEOs lead 1000+ employees
Purpose is leading the pack
Purpose is now firmly established as the No. 1 factor in driving business growth.
CEOs rank company purpose as the most important factor for driving business growth — more than attracting talent, company culture, employee training, and employee value proposition.
for driving growth
Purpose is here to stay
Purpose is past the point of early adoption and could replace mission, vision and values in the coming years.
One in four CEOs (27%) say they already have a company purpose, and 59% say they don't have a company purpose but want to make one.
have a purpose
want a purpose
Purpose is a competitive advantage
Purpose-driven companies foster business growth, brand strength, and win in the marketplace.
Nine in 10 CEOs whose company has a purpose statement (87%) say purpose plays an integral role, driving initiatives across the business.
purpose is integral
Purpose is a guiding beacon
When it comes to navigating times of uncertainty, purpose serves as the North Star.
Nine in 10 CEOs whose companies have a purpose statement (89%) agree that purpose has helped guide their business through uncertain times — especially during the pandemic.
purpose guides us
Purpose is amplifying sustainability
Purpose and sustainability complement one another and have a positive impact on companies’ bottom lines.
Four in five CEOs (83%) agree that purpose-driven companies are better at navigating sustainability than profit-driven companies.
lens for sustainability
Purpose is a challenge to activate
When it comes to bridging the gap between defining a purpose and activating it, CEOs are not always sure what to do.
Three in five CEOs who have or want a company purpose (60%) admit that they are uncertain about how to enact their purpose.
unsure how to activate
Read the full report
Discover what else CEOs had to say about the pandemic, sustainability, and their workforce.
Connect with our experts
Find out how we can help unlock the potential of your organization's purpose.
The survey was hosted by Savanta via an online survey among 705 CEOs in the US, UK, France, Germany, India and China between 17 December 2020 and 14 January 2021.
Previous CEO reports
The few. The bold. The leaders
The long-term view most CEOs aren't seeing