Creating a powerful organizational purpose

Choice, Community, Contribution, Purpose
Once leaders appreciate the power of purpose to steer great decision-making and reduce supervision costs, they are sometimes left wondering whether the “north star” (or “Southern Cross” depending on from whence you set your bearings!) they’re steering by is strong enough.
Here are some key things to look for as you assess:


Purpose GR


We find that purpose is strong enough to steer by when it:
  • Provides motivational fuel that ignites energy (will focus what I work on each day), passion (stirs me emotionally), and commitment (gets me “out of bed” in the morning)
  • Is fundamental to your vision of an “ideal future self” as a business
  • Orients, energizes, and accelerates your progress
  • Invites an inherent sense of discovery
  • Not only inspires, but is followed directly by forward action
  • Helps individuals connect their personal contribution to larger organizational goals


A good test for strongly-held shared purpose is the ability to say “yes” to the following:
  • As an organization or team, can you can accurately state the purpose and goals in shared language?
  • Are people working collaboratively towards the same outcome and everyone would agree?
  • Are you creating the impact that you originally intended?
  • Are you maximizing the return and leverage on the investment you have made on the time, money, and talent in the organization?


We’ve found that purpose is at risk if any of the following are consistently present:
  • Your organization or team cannot all accurately state the original purpose or goals
  • You are not having the impact that you originally intended
  • You do not have clarity around what you are “for”
  • You do not have clarity around your roles or how you will collaborate
  • Your team is reporting levels of confusion, frustration, or fatigue
  • Your implementation plans are stalled, not moving fast enough, or in competition with each other
  • People are not clear that their goals and actions will make a difference in achieving the intended purpose
  • Collaboration isn’t happening, and people resist it…they sense they can get more done alone than together


Conversation Prep Chart

Use the Conversation Prep Chart to help you understand what matters to key stakeholders and prepare for important conversations. Download the tool now, or visit Purpose Practice #2: Discovering collective purpose for more information on how to use the Conversation Meter to prepare for your next pivotal conversation.