Finding your organisational purpose

How cultural change needs clarity of organisational purpose

I met with one of my long standing clients yesterday for a catch up on how their cultural change programme was moving along. They’re at the pointy end of implementation, where sometimes it feels like it is two steps forward, and one step back, and so I was interested to get a sense of how it was all going.

What’s our organizational purpose?

What struck me the most was the change in language and the intensity of purpose.

The CEO, with whom I was meeting, was articulate, clear and simple about their purpose.  He summed up the organisations’ mission in a single sentence that was both compelling and something to aspire to, but something very clear, very practical and completely relevant to every employee.

The great thing about this clarity (which mind you, has been a product of hard work and much thinking behind the scenes) is that it can be used as a touch point for every decision; strategic, tactical and day to day.

  • Does it meet the purpose statement?
  • Does it take the organization closer towards where we are meant to be going?
  • If not, then why are we doing it?

I also loved that it was so simple that it didn’t need to be written down. It was easy to remember and absolutely clear and unambiguous.

Now, of course, the challenge is to align everything to that mission. And there’s a lot of work to go to get to that point. But, just knowing the end point makes the journey absolutely doable.

Why it’s important to have organisational purpose

I have written before about how essential it is to know where you are going and what your purpose is. But also, that culture change, does not need to be so complicated. It can be a series of simple steps.

Have you even been part of an organisation that is crystal clear on its purpose? And which uses that to help guide decision making, big and small? What did it feel like to be part of that? Contrast that with where there is ambiguity around purpose.  What was that like?

Thanks to for the image.

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