Purpose has become a central pillar for business leaders: 70 percent of respondents in Ukraine, and 77 percent around the world, said they felt a stronger emotional connection to their corporate purpose since the crisis began. At the same time, however, the massive disruptive impact of the pandemic has caused many business leaders to question whether their current purpose really meets the needs of stakeholders. In fact, 39 percent of business leaders in Ukraine, and 79 percent around the world, said that they have had to re-evaluate their purpose as a result of COVID-19.
This increasingly personal and emotional connection to business purpose during the pandemic reflects the fact that business leaders face similar health and family challenges to their employees and communities. In fact, well over a third of business leaders (39 percent) around the world, and 16 percent in Ukraine, have had their health or the health of one of their family affected by COVID-19.
The pandemic will be remembered by many as a defining moment for this generation. Business leaders are clearly determined to learn from the pandemic and their own personal experience to recalibrate and make well-informed decisions. As Chart 2 shows, out of those who were personally affected by the health implications of the crisis just 25 percent of respondents in Ukraine and only 4 percent globally say that they made no change to their approach to the pandemic. In all, 58 percent in Ukraine, and 55 percent of worldwide respondents, changed their strategic response either completely or to some degree. Other business leaders, while not changing their strategy, did pay more attention to the human aspect of the pandemic.