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You don’t need to trade-off purpose against performance

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In fact, it turns out that organisations deliver better financial returns when they focus on purpose over profit.

You don’t have to take my word for it: recent survey by PwC showed that 79% of business leaders believe that an organisation’s purpose is central to business success. For more evidence, check out The Business Case for Purpose, published by Harvard Business Review.

A purpose driven organisation doesn’t need to be a charity, although it is true that these organisations are often clearer on purpose than their for-profit counterparts.

Instead, a purpose driven organisation is simply one that has a clear and overriding reason for existing beyond pursuit of profit alone.

Your organisation’s purpose is not a slogan, tagline or positioning statement. It’s not even really about the product or service you provide.

Purpose goes much deeper than what you do and instead goes right to the heart of why you do it.

Getting clear on your org’s reason for existing is the first step. The next (and more challenging) part is to use it meaningfully in the running of your organisation. Your people, structure, and decision-making process should all be aligned to deliver on this purpose.

This is the part that often requires courage, and uncomfortable decisions. But the best companies do it unrelentingly, and without apology.

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