Being a purpose driven organization doesn’t mean you have to carry the torch for the latest social cause, leveraging your business as a means to accomplishing a grandiose goal. If this is the intent of your business, great. For others, their goal is to simply operate a business that provides immense value to its customers. For these businesses, creating a purpose driven organization is about transforming your existing processes and enabling your employees to expand their influence beyond the tactical – moving from what to why.
There is a famous quote by Lou Holtz that says, “If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.” When we hear this, we often think about growing profits and revenue streams; prolific growth stories that are scattered across the headlines, telling stories of companies who completely revolutionized an industry and made billions along the way. Although these stories are important reminders of the power of innovation, they fail to capture the essence of this truth. More important are the stories of industry titans who failed to grow their processes, consequently sealing their fate as a dying organization that simply couldn’t keep up. Many factors play into this reality, but most glaring is an inability to successfully adopt new technology.
Creating a purpose driven organization is about leveraging new processes and technology to enable your employees to continue to evolve their roles and impact on the organization. The most valuable asset to any organization will always be its people. For many leaders, the emphasis for changes in process is external; impacts to customers, revenue generation, cost savings for shareholders, and other measurable value driven metrics are used to justify the investment. A subtle and overlooked consideration, is the impact that these changes will have on their employee base – increased retention, higher morale, boosts in creativity, and increased efficiency/capacity are examples of these intangible impacts. Yet, since these are difficult to directly correlate to measurable outcomes, they are often dismissed in strategic conversations about why new technology investments should be made – a shortcoming of our decision-making matrices.