This article outlines what is required to successfully integrate an organisation’s purpose and values to the point where it becomes an Purpose-Driven organisation.
To become Purpose-Driven, an organisation must integrate its purpose into everything that does. This includes the way it develops strategy, executes its business plans, measures performance and interacts key with stakeholders.
While there are many benefits to being a Purpose-Driven organisation it is not a magic wand. While it is relatively easy to articulate a purpose a set of values, research has shown that many organisations have a hard time embedding it in their strategic decision-making and operations. This is because it requires the purpose and values to be consistently applied across all of its disciplines and activities.
It takes a lot of skill and understanding to embed Purpose into the organisation, which is why so few companies really can pull it off. There are many barriers to be overcome and requires effort, commitment and strong leadership to make it work. This process must, therefore, be by the CEO and the top leadership team.
One of the main benefits of being Purpose-Driven is that it changes the way people in the organisations think, act and communicate. This changes the way the organisation does business. If it does not happen then the organisations actions will not match their stated purpose. Stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and shareholders will catch on very quickly which can cause irreparable damage to their reputation.
Consequently, it is very important that the organisations purpose resonates with all of its people. It is, therefore, essential that companies develop the kind of leaders who can communicate and align the whole organisation around purpose.
Ensuring that performance metrics and incentives are aligned with purpose can also be important since it makes the connection between purpose and performance explicit for everyone in the organisation.
All of these things – an organisational focus on purpose, values, culture, and leadership – drive performance improvement and ultimately have a positive impact on the bottom line.