Measuring Meaning

The Happiness Project includes a series of measures and metrics that can help businesses understand the impact of their behaviours – in terms of society and culture, and not least in terms of their reputation.

These measures fall under a number of broad headings, which can then drill down into actionable detail.

The three broadest headings are:

  • Society and culture
  • Wellbeing of people
  • Brand experience

Society and culture

Here’s a taster of some of the measures under this first, crucial heading.

All of these measures have both a ‘hard’ element to them (from factual audits of behaviour and strategy) and a ‘soft’ (how the company is perceived by customers, staff, stakeholders in the round, and the general public).

Virtuous intent

  • Are my company’s values and behaviour seen as virtuous and honourable?
  • What are these virtues? Are they recognised and admired?

 Purpose

  • What is my company’s fundamental reason for existing?
  • What will it look like in 10 years’ time?

Meaning

  • Does my company have a strong and positive place in culture today?
  • What do we signify to people?

Sustainability

  • What will my company look like in 10 years?
  • Do we appropriately balance the short term and the long term issues?

Social contribution

  • Does my company contribute positively to the world at large?
  • Does my company positively impact the local community in which it operates?
  • Do we seek to address the needs of society day-to-day?

Revenue goodness

  • Does my company make money in the right way?
  • Do we appropriately balance profit against other imperatives?

All these measures have both a ‘hard’ element to them (from factual audits of behaviour and strategy) and a ‘soft’ (how the company is perceived by customers, staff, stakeholders in the round, and the general public).

And all these measures are critical to a company’s wider reputation. Ultimately, is this a company to be proud of? Where are the perceptual gaps?  Do we demonstrate ethical behaviours? Take responsible actions? Behave in a way that is transparent and open? Are we trusted?

Finally, we’re in the process of creating an online community of thinkers and contributors – a sounding board for creating and validating authentic social and cultural purpose. We call it The Conscience, and we’ll be launching it in March 2017.


The Conscience