How can you create a purpose led organisation?

Leadership Development, Mental Fitness

Is your organisation driven by a clear sense of purpose? 

Organisations that hold a clear sense of purpose have a two fold benefit over their competition, improving performance, motivation and retention in their workforces; at the same time as making them more appealing to their customer base.

The latest update to Edelman’s year on year brand trust study showed that “a stunning 84 percent of young Gen Zers (14-17) say that they buy on beliefs, with a five-point jump in the past year among those 18-26 years old to 64 percent saying they’re activist via brand choice. By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, respondents want more ‘We than Me’—they prefer to have brands make the world a better place over brands making them a better person.”

Consumers want to buy from and feel a part of purpose led brands. This is becoming apparent in business performance as well. 

A recent research report by the CEO Investor Forum found that high purpose driven companies out-performed competitors on measures of value creation, company value and financial performance: 

  • Average valuation multiples for high-purpose brands are over four times EBITDA higher than that of low-purpose brands.
  • High-purpose brands demonstrate a nearly 20 percentage point advantage in annualised total shareholder returns over low-purpose brands.
  • High-purpose brands double their market value over four times faster than low-purpose brands.

Purposefulness can impact on recruitment, motivation and productivity as well. Linkedin’s Purpose at Work study found that 76% of Linkedin Members value purpose driven work highly and Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends Report found that purpose oriented companies have forty percent higher rates of employee retention than their competitors. 

Purpose is powerful. But is that power fully utilised?

The purpose gap – intent vs reality

Despite a growing understanding of the power of purpose there is still a discrepancy between intent and delivery. 

EY & HBR’s investigation into The Business Case for Purpose found that “Most executives believe purpose matters… But only a minority said their company currently runs in a purpose-driven way.” Only 46% of executives felt that their company had a strong sense of purpose. PWC also identified a similar “purpose gap” with survey results showing that when respondents were asked if they “strongly agreed with the assessment that the firm they ran, worked for, or could be a customer of “has a purpose beyond making money” executives registered 56% but only 41% of employees agree and a mere 24% of consumers viewed companies in this way. 

Purpose might be important but more often than not it is not delivered and certainly not perceived to be delivered by employees or consumers. 

How can you create a purpose led organisation? 8 steps to purposeful growth

So how can your organisation become a purpose led organisation?

  1. Start the conversation. Nothing happens without action. Is your organisation even aware of the power of purpose? Share insights and information, get people talking about how purpose could transform the organisation.
  2. Nurture purpose led leaders (and be the catalyst for a purpose led vision yourself). One of the most powerful outcomes of transformational coaching within leadership teams can be the way in which senior stakeholders gain an understanding of how their own sense of purpose drives and motivates them in their career and in their role. Create and nurture purpose led leaders and empower them to lead purposeful change.
  3. Align purpose with external and internal values. Understand the values of your customers. Understand the values of your employees. How can your organisation help to make the world better in a way that resonates with both these groups?
  4. Be authentic. Don’t try to simply “spray on” purposefulness whilst continuing with business as useful. Consumers and employees want to see real change and real impact. How can buying your products or accessing your services contribute to real change that stakeholders want to see?
  5. Make sure purpose guides everything in the organisation. Purposefulness is more than a company policy or an aspect of a corporate social responsibility programme. It should guide recruitment, product development, community development and everything the brand and organisation stands for. Action not just words.
  6. Measure the impact of purposefulness across the organisation. Track impact across external and internal measures and in terms of sales, customer engagement, brand impact as well as employee motivation, productivity and retention. Purposefulness impacts everywhere. Measure it everywhere.
  7. Forge partnerships. Change doesn’t happen in isolation. Shared purpose is effective purpose. Reach out to other purpose led organisations and individuals and mobilise their efforts or align yours with theirs.
  8. Communicate. Be proud of the difference the organisation is making. Share small victories. Shout about big achievements. Celebrate the changes being made.

We’d love to hear about your individual and organisational purpose. What are you trying to achieve as an individual within your organisation. What difference do you think your organisation could be making for the world? What difference are you making? What is your experience of creating a purpose led organisation?

Want to take this further?

Do you want to gain insight into personal transformation? Do you want to learn how your own Mental Fitness can be the framework for understanding how you can develop greater self-awareness and grow in your own capability and resilience?

Or, if you play a role in your organisation’s development and that of those who work with you and their Mental Fitness, we’d love to talk.


by | 1 Nov 2022

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