One of the key ways to demonstrate that an organisation is committed to its Purpose and Values is through its Actions, not its Words. Purpose should, therefore, guide the decision-making process at all levels in the organisation.
Actions speak louder than words. This saying is true in many situations and is one of the most powerful ways to show that you mean what you say. The same philosophy applies to organisations. Consequently, for a business to be truly successful, it is critical that everyone in the organisation act in ways that support its purpose and values, as well as its goals and vision. This must start at the top with leaders setting the example. If leaders don’t walk the talk, how can they expect anyone else to?
So how do we know what actions we need to take to support our purpose?
The answer is to ensure that you use your purpose to steer the decision making process at all levels of the organisation. This way the actions that you take will be driven by your purpose, not the other way around.
As can be seen from the diagram, we use the analogy of a compass to represent purpose and values because they provide a consistent guide for decision making over the long term.
In many cases, short-term decisions may conflict with a company’s purpose and its long-term goals and vison. Establishing and positioning a company for long-term success sometimes means making difficult decisions that result in giving up short-term revenue gains that don’t align with its purpose. For more information, read our article entitled “How what you Do Not do Demonstrate your Commitment to your Purpose”.
The above discussion describes what we mean when we say that an organisation is ‘living and breathing’ its purpose. The question of how much influence the purpose and values have on the decision making process and on the resulting activities and actions will tell us how committed the organisation is to its purpose. It is for this reason that these questions form part of out Purpose Driven Accreditation process.