Is Your Organization Purpose-Aligned?
By Julie Williamson
Many companies use a concept of purpose to market their products without ever actually doing anything internally to authentically deliver on it.
Purpose alignment is about ensuring that mindsets, behaviors, and environments are set to deliver on the impact you want to have in your community, your industry, your business, and with your employees. It guides decision making at all levels of the organization and provides a way to hold people accountable to appropriate behaviors and outcomes.
Consider the following 10 questions to help determine if your organization is purpose-aligned.
If your purpose is not clearly stated, think about what you believe it to be or think about the following questions in terms of your mission or vision.
Add up how many checkmarks you have in each column.
7 or more ‘Yes’ responses? You are well on your way to purpose-alignment as an organization! It is likely that your senior leaders are thinking about purpose when they make key decisions, and that people more broadly are connected to the purpose as a guide for their own behavior.
7 or more ‘Yes’ or ‘Maybe’ responses combined? Your purpose may be well crafted and make sense organizationally, but it may not be front of mind for people when they are making decisions about how to run your business internally.
4 or more ‘No’ responses? It is likely that your purpose was developed as a marketing or communications exercise, and it is used more for external brand positioning with customers and prospective employees than it is for internal decision making.
A mixed bag? You likely have a purpose that people know and agree with and that does well for you externally, but it may not be serving you well internally in terms of guiding behavior and decision making.
Purpose is a powerful tool for creating a sense of connection and common ground for employees, it expands the impact that an organization has in its communities, markets, and customers, and, when done well, it benefits shareholders and drive growth. Don’t settle for purpose as a marketing asset – bring it to life through leadership alignment and make the most of what it can do for your organization.
Thank you for reading on. This article is part of a series on purpose-alignment. We dive deeper into the research, concepts, and thinking in the following whitepaper — ‘Purpose-Aligned Leadership: From Purpose Driven to Driving Purpose,’ click here to learn more.