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Evidence-based ways to pivot to purpose and thrive in the age of Coronavirus.

Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa
Date: 22 February 2021


Why Pivot to Purpose now?  Covid 19 has brought us countless organisational challenges, it has triggered not only an economic recession but also a deeply human crisis that is filled with loss, uncertainty and anxiety.  Pivoting to Purpose is about pausing, reflecting, and then course correcting to how we could do something meaningful in the service of what really matters to us amidst our uncertainties instead of giving up or in.

“The greatest battles we fight are the ones within ourselves –  our search for identity .  Who am I?  & Will my life amount to anything.

“The last arrow” Irwin McMannus

Herewith –  Seven learnings from the webinar, including a few evidence-based ways to pivot to Purpose and thrive in the age of Coronavirus.

  1. Purpose is often associated with self-actualisation. However, the only way to self-actualise is, paradoxically, by getting outside of one-self in other words, Self-Transcendence. This requires downregulating rumination, accepting anxious feelings, dialling up positivity, and devoting oneself to a cause bigger than the self.
  2. Purpose expresses who you are, who you are becoming and what contribution you can make. It is a choice that one makes and is aligned with our highest values/ self-identity and contains concrete goals.
  3. Unlock, purpose through deliberate conversations across the organisational landscape, providing employees with the opportunity for more personally meaningful work, whilst simultaneously enabling the organisation to achieve its goals.
  4. Cultivating a growth-mindset culture in which all employees are encouraged to develop and are acknowledged and rewarded for improvement (neuroplasticity in action!) is a cornerstone of pivoting to Purpose.
  5. Companies can further leverage Purpose by cultivating a “Regenerative” culture where the company respects employees’ full spectrum of humanity, honouring what people put into their work, and commit resources to serve their needs. This results in a positive feedback loop.
  6. Employees excel in their work when they maintain a balance between the energy they give ( job demands) and the energy they receive (job resources). Positive Job resources buffers the effect of job demands. Purposeful work is a positive job resource and buffers against job demands!
  7. Pivot to Purpose (to what and who matters ) is essentially linked to Pro-Social behaviour or Altruism, which is highly rewarding for the brain– “giving is indeed its own reward” !


Keep in touch for more takeaways from our learning events open to the SIOPSA community.  Check out the SIOPSA website for latest events at:  www.siopa.org.za/events


SIOPSA The Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology in South Africa

A member-based society for work psychology professionals that empower our members to make an impact in society and business.


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