This month, we discuss the topic of “Company as Cause” – using purpose to drive the organization. These were the readings
- Chapter 1 of /Mavericks at Work/
- Simon Sinek TED talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action
- HBR blog post: Purpose is good, Shared Purpose is Better
- HBR blog post: Your Company’s Purpose is not its Vision Statement
Our discussion questions were:
- What is your organization’s purpose?
- How do you communicate it internally and externally?
- How do you use it to guide selection of clients, projects, talent, partners, and process?
Notes from our discussion:
What do people have in terms of explicit purpose statements?
How we make decisions
Value proposition for clients
Value proposition for staff
Value proposition for partners
How do we sell
What are our core value
Going to become a handbook – internal and external?
Balancing quality and profitability
What you’re passionate about
Who we are
Relationship between org purpose and founder’s values
How is it expressed Internally vs. Externally (communication vs. practices)?
Same / different?
Walking the talk
Need to be able to explain the exceptions to the rule
Must keep restating alignment
When do the exceptions prove the rule
Purpose vs. Cause vs. Beliefs
Often flows from personal purpose / passion of founder(s)
You have client vs. “client of your practice” – have to serve both
Relationship between purpose and belief
General abstract purpose (“safety”) is good but better to be specific (“save his life”)
WHY as a filter, choosing clients and staff
“Enrollment conversation” vs. sales
Tie directly to client purpose (e.g, tie construction safety to patient safety)
Purpose as project filter: go/no-go > shape scope > cultivate dream projects
purpose is key for attracting millennial talent