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The Six Disciplines Blog


Thursday, March 29, 2018

On Becoming A Purpose-Driven Organization – Part 1

In Part 1 of this 6 Part series, we dive into the specific process your organization can use to become purpose-driven. 

The process can be boiled down to answering just a few questions:

Why does your organization exist? Organizations cannot exist unless they continue to provide something of value to someone. So, the first step in becoming a purpose-driven organization is to determine and articulate why your organization exists – what is your purpose – at the deepest level.

Who are you trying to serve – and why? To answer this, you’ll need to be very specific as to who your target customers are, and in turn, who are not your customers. The “why” answers the underlying motivation for fulfilling their needs or addressing their pains.

What will our organization be great at? This is the question that challenges your leadership team to answer the shared vision question. Most leadership teams start with a different vision of what the organization should ‘have’, ‘do’ and ‘be’. By collaborating your leadership team will develop a shared vision that articulates clearly what the organization’s purpose is and what you are going to excel at over the long-term.

What will make our organization different?   Strategy is about making choices. It’s about creating trade-offs. It’s about deliberately choosing to be differentA solid strategy is based on being different in a way that’s important to your customers.

What do we have a passion for? What are we really good at? Remember that passion, without purpose, is chaos. 

What will drive our economic engine? How will we generate revenue? What will our pricing model be? How will we go about scaling for growth? How will we measure

These are the basic building blocks of strategy formation. What’s amazing is, when you get it right, it’s simple to express, and it unites your people in their engagement and understanding of how their daily activities relate to executing on your purpose.  If you cannot articulate this clearly and get people to understand it, you’ll never be able to engage them in a unified purpose. They will end up substituting some of their own purposes, which inevitably will become increasingly misaligned with your intended purpose. 

By answering these questions, you’re creating strategic clarity for your organization. Watch this short video on creating strategic vision. 

Click here to read part 2!

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.