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PURPOSE DEVELOPMENT: ORIENTATION IN THE JUNGLE OF POSSIBILITIES

"What would be lacking if this organization did not exist?" For customers, employees, partners – this question is relevant to everyone. In addition to the “How?” and the “What?”, the “Why?” question that queries a company’s essential raison d'être is becoming more and more relevant.

We help our clients to define purpose, to investigate why a company is on the market. We do this on the basis of our own extensive experience, using a stable process and drawing on the talents of our clients. Because in order to carry weight, a sense of corporate purpose must come from within the organization.

WHY A COMPANY NEEDS TO ASK “WHY?”

Numerous studies prove: Companies with a clear purpose are more successful on the market. The reasons are manifold. A sense of purpose creates orientation within and outside the organization. People are more willing to perform and are more motivated if they know what they are working for and can identify with it. Furthermore, a clear sense of purpose stabilizes and creates space for self-organization, assumption of responsibility and decision-taking in the company’s interests. So a powerful strategy needs to be based on an underlying purpose.

CIDPARTNERS – DRIVEN
BY PURPOSE AND SUCCESS

Strengthening the capacity to change and developing viable strategies is part of our core business. As one of the first consultancies worldwide, we have consistently managed our organization according to the purpose from which our corporate goals are derived. This has enabled us to support numerous clients in developing their own purpose or realigning themselves. Our passion is to do justice to the uniqueness of each organization and to make a valuable contribution to its future success.

Our approach: We design the development process in line with the needs of our clients and work in a co-creative and participative manner. Working on the assumption that the organization’s purpose is already there, the task is ‘simply’ a matter of making it visible and tangible.

DISCOVERING PURPOSE: THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

Not only Jim Collins' studies for the book ‘From Good to Great’ and Simon Sinek's bestseller ‘Start with Why’ prove how important the issue of ‘purpose’ is. Organizations and teams with a clear purpose are more successful and achieve better profits. Because the power of purpose not only has a positive effect on employees and managers, but also on partners and customers. It is regarded as the foundation of an organization’s strategic goal-orientation and it also reflects the values of the company.

That is why we start strategy and change processes by asking about purpose. This can be the purpose of the entire organization, the purpose of a division or of a single department. It is important to clarify whether there is a purpose at all, whether it is still valid or whether it needs further development. This leads to one of three different processes:

1. INSPIRE: PURPOSE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

Initial Situations

  • The purpose is not yet clearly formulated
  • Individual ideas about the purpose are available, but there is no common, summarized version
  • Feeling of lack of orientation in the organization and desire to strengthen the common focus

Initial Steps

  • Kick-off Purpose Workshop involving top level management
  • Obtain internal and external perspectives
  • Collect inspiring examples
  • Evaluate and condense the results together

2. REBUILD: FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE PURPOSE

Initial Situations

  • Change in market or business model
  • Initiation of a strategy development process

Initial Steps

  • Appreciative, objective appraisal of what is already there
  • Joint clarification of the following questions (e.g. in a questionnaire): "Is this why we go to work every day?", "Does the purpose in its existing form empower us, our partners and our customers?", "Does the current purpose still bear fruit or does it need to be reviewed?
  • Collation of results to reflect the range of opinions
  • Derivation of suitable objectives, fields of action and further actions

3. RECONNECT: STRENGTHENING THE EXISTING PURPOSE

Initial Situations

  • The purpose of the company is defined, but it is not actively being lived out
  • The purpose is too abstract, not underpinned by specific action
  • Desire for an ‘energy boost’ for more orientation in the organization

Initial Steps

  • Identification of the areas in which the purpose is lived out or not
  • Identification of the areas in which the purpose is lived out, but not consciously
  • Visibly linking existing projects to the purpose
  • Establishing initiatives and projects that make the purpose tangible

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE: WHY THE QUESTION “WHY?” IS LOADED

As a discussion topic, the purpose is often emotionally charged because of the inherent expectation that everyone within an organization should identify with it. So is important to handle the topic with tact.

Appreciation Of What Is There

This means showing respect for what others have already achieved in this domain and not starting the process with sweeping statements such as: “The old mission statement is out of date; we need something new, something that sounds sexier!”

Ensuring High Levels Of Participation

It is a basic must to involve those involved in the process at an early stage. Online surveys and online workshops are very good options here. This involvement is what creates the basis that allows everyone to identify with the purpose at the end of the process.

Maintaining a High Priority

Often, the ‘purpose’ issue is regarded as being important for a certain period of time, but then drops out of sight because of other priorities. It is important to give the development of the purpose high priority and to make sure it stays that way.

Integrating External Support

The ‘purpose’ issue is emotionally charged, and individual interests often slow down the process. So it makes good sense to bring in external consultancy expertise. As a source of objective opinions, experience and expertise, this helps to direct the participants’ attention to what is essential.

Examples Of Purpose Formulations

  • collective intelligence drivers. (cidpartners)
  • Deliver happiness to the world. (Zappos)
  • A Symbol of Freedom. (Southwest)
  • We love to entertain you. (ProSieben)
  • The happiest place on earth. (Disney)