“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Purpose: Why are we here?
Values: What’s most important to us?
People today are more in tune with what companies they work at stand for. Leaders need to make every effort to take people on a meaningful journey. Purpose is the goal of that journey. When employees know the reason and when they fully understand how their efforts make the world a better place for someone else, they have found their jobs purpose.
The values are the guiding principles used to manage the internal and external affairs. The values help us to prioritise choosing one good thing over another. The values and purpose need to complement each other. The core values should also be consistent with the organisational behaviour.
The first step for the organisation is identifying and defining their purpose. Once they’ve defined their purpose and have a clear understanding of the reason they exist they can ask the following questions to align the organisation with the purpose:
What are the things we are doing that are a waste of time and we need to get rid of it?
What are the things we are doing, but need to tweak it to fit with the purpose?
What are things that we are not doing that we need to start doing?
Once the purpose and values have been defined and leaders know what is most important, the purpose should drive all the actions in the organisation. Some examples of areas to use the purpose and values to drive action are strategy setting, hiring, promotion, operational decisions, training and development and opportunities to go for. KPI’s track and inform the organisation about its performance and standing on a regular basis. They have to be linked to the purpose and value and not contradict them. An example might be a core value is teamwork and collaboration but the KPI’s are promoting individual achievements and competition.
It’s not enough to have the purpose and values written and displayed across the organisation. It needs to be embedded in all of the organisation systems. That means that the purpose and values need to be aligned with the three fundamental components of the organisation: structure, culture and people.
Structure: Rules, regulations, policies, procedures.
Culture: The behaviours and norms, the working environment,
People: How people are engaged and empowered, who are the people we want and the ones we don’t want?
The leader’s role needs to be proactive and intentional in embedding the purpose and values in all 3 components. That is achieved with clear plan and defined actions throughout the organisation to make sure that the alignment happens.
The organisation’s purpose should be your North Star that guides people.