Do you ever ask yourself what am I working towards? Am I fulfilling a purpose? Why am I doing this? The need for a sense of purpose in life and in work is something everyone strives for. This urge often goes unfulfilled causing lack of motivation and often going through the motions in your work. Many companies have “purpose” as a side note or often comes second to other goals and is not the main focus. This causes strategies to be made for results and success when really your purpose should be your main focus when creating these.
As a Strategist and Business Coach, my clients have been receiving lessons on how to put their purpose at the core of their strategy for years. This has been at the core of how I help businesses succeed. When a team understands and embodies the company purpose first then the strategy and strategic execution become a different game. To be clear leadership is a key element in blending the purpose and strategy.
A Harvard Business Review article “Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy” refers to a global study, “as we worked with the high-growth companies in our study and beyond, we began to recognize that many of them had moved purpose from the periphery of their strategy to its core—where, with committed leadership and financial investment, they had used it to generate sustained profitable growth, stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, and deepen ties with their stakeholders.”
Understanding how this works is detailed in the HBR article attached below. You have to start with a team (Size of the team is not as relevant as the team needs to behave as a team), then defining the purpose is the next hurdle. Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why”, Simon details the retrospective approach to discovering the purpose. Where looking at how the business changes peoples lives and the core benefits the business brings to the community and patrons is a great start.
This article defined two critical roles on how to rejuvenate stumped growth and stay relevant in this everchanging world.
- Redefine the playing field. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Too much time spent on one market may restrict you from exploring others. When times shift this may cause you to have to do the same whether that be your strategy, approach, or mindset.
- Reshape the Value Proposition. Don’t fixate on one idea and stay set in these ways you must adapt and evolve continuously. Companies make this shift in three main ways: by responding to trends, building on trust, and focusing on pain points.
The prospective approach is the other method of defining a purpose. This is where the purpose is uncovered from within the organization itself. The focus process may be external but the discovery process is internal, go within yourself and find your reason for being.
Thomas W. Malnight, Ivy Buche, and Charles Dhanaraj have brought to life one of the keys to healthy organizational growth and change.
- HBR Article: Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy
- Simon Sinek’s Book: Start with Why