How to create a purpose-driven business - the final instalment

September 5, 2018



Over recent weeks, we’ve brought you a series of posts about creating an “on purpose” business. We hope you’ve found one or two tips to put to practical use.


Of course these days time is short and attention spans even shorter so we thought we’d finish up by providing a brief highlights package.


Before we do though, let’s just state one more time why we believe purpose is important in business.


First up, businesses with a clear purpose which they “live” on a day to day basis have been shown to:


  • have more highly engaged employees;


  • be more likely to attract and retain “ideal” and engaged customers; and


  • be more profitable,


than those with no such clarity of purpose. Those are great reasons to aspire and strive to be a purpose driven business.


And second?


We reckon it’s just the right thing to do. promised, here’s some highlights and conclusions from the series…


Your business purpose already exists


You (and your teams) may just have lost sight of it amid the day to day of "getting stuff done”.


Your purpose resides in the very reason your business (be it large or small) came to exist in the first place…the problem(s) your business was looking to solve in its market. So it’s important for you to spend some quality time reconnecting with your business purpose as your first priority. 




Clarity of purpose provides the beacon that guides everything the most successful businesses do.


Purpose drives Vision, Strategy and Business Plans


This is what we mean….


When going through the planning process, some businesses seem to treat each step in isolation.


The danger in this approach is you can wind up with a business focused on short term activity (its business plan) that has little, if any, relationship to its longer term aspirations (purpose and vision in particular). 


The planning process should be treated as just that - a process.


Which means at each phase it’s important to review what’s gone before to ensure logic is maintained. Ultimately the goal is that the day to day work of everyone in the business has a demonstrable link link to purpose, referencing strategy and vision along the way.


Today’s employees crave purpose


That much is clear. 


There’s a range of factors that affect employee engagement of course. What’s becoming clear is that there’s a large proportion of employees who will trade off, at least in part, some of the more traditional drivers of engagement to work in a purpose-driven business.


A good number of people in the workforce would even take a pay cut to work in a purpose-driven business.


This is hardly a trivial research finding and should occupy the minds of leaders across all businesses. We’re not talking about employees necessarily feeling like they’re contributing to world peace…they simply want fulfilling work in a business that recognises other outward looking priorities can co-exist with revenue and profit.


So do customers


Again, we point to research from various sources that shows customers, when given the opportunity, will deal with purpose-driven businesses at the expense of those that aren’t.


There’s probably nothing more to be said on this point other than have a read of our last blog post.


The choice for business is clear


Purpose-driven…or not.


Feel free to check back over our previous posts for our references to global research on the issue. There’s plenty to provide food for thought.


What’s increasingly obvious is that individuals are to be looking for ways to “make a difference” in the world. 


In your business you can allow those individuals to do just that - either as employees or customers. It’s clear that if you do, you’ll likely do better than those that don’t.


Now’s a good time to start…


We hope you’ve enjoyed our “purpose-driven” series. 


Our aim has been to bring together some basic tips and strategies you might use in your business.


Bringing all the pieces together is a big task and, as we’ve said, independent facilitation of the process can help speed things along. We’d love to help you through the process. So please give us a call or drop us a line and we can organise for an initial chat about where you’re heading and how we can help.


Join the conversation


We’d love to hear your views on what you’ve read here and in previous posts. Please do leave a comment below. 


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