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Strategy Clarification

Leaders generally know where they want to take their business; often, the challenge is in clarifying, that is boiling down the strategy to its core, actionable elements and defining how to effectively communicate that strategy to the people responsible for executing that strategy. Further, this involves aligning the organization’s strategy with its core purpose and values. We can help with brainstorming, research, market assessment, vision and strategy facilitation.

Our Purpose Driven Strategy Process: It takes more than SWOT and Spreadsheets

Clearly, business analysis, financial metrics and tactical plans are essential in the planning process. But they are no longer enough. Many team members today want a bigger voice and a bigger sense of fulfillment in their work. They want clarity of mission and the confidence that their day job is leaving a positive and lasting mark. Further, the intelligence economy has led to changes in the structure CEOs don’t want or intend for their planning to become so formulaic and out of touch; they actually implemented these systems to make the process simpler and less taxing for managers.  The result, though, is a process which has lost its heart and soul.

How do we re-invigorate the planning cycle? By introducing Purpose into the process. Growth and sustainability needs to arise from the organization’s Core Purpose which will drive traditional planning structures.

We define Purpose-driven strategy as a business, sales or marketing plan driven by the inherent values of the enterprise, its leaders, its employees and its customers with the objective of creating a growing, sustainable and profitable organization.

This is more powerful than re-writing your mission statement, though. It involves

… Understanding your enterprise’s contribution to the world

… Reflecting your personal values in your work

… Embedding those values in the culture of the organization.

… Recruiting, developing, decision-making, creating, and executing based on your singular purpose.

Three components generally make up your Purpose, as it relates to strategy and planning:

  1. Your Functional Offering which relates to the central features and benefits, your production process and financial returns.
  2. Your Core Values which reflect how we want the world to be different as well as the potential we see in our employees and customers/partners.
  3. Your Customers/Partners: who do we serve, how our offering fits into their lives, their values and how our presence makes their world better.

Examples of purpose-driven strategies can be found in many industries and across all types of organizations: look at Google, Starbucks, Tom’s Shoes and Whole Foods as examples.  It doesn’t have to add time or effort into the process but it does require management commitment.

Purpose-driven planning is easiest to implement where we see the following conditions:


Enterprise Leaders seek: Team Members seek: Customers seek:
•    Clarity of Mission

•    Deep engagement from their teams

•    An aligned culture

•    Clear and measureable goals and priorities

•    Greater sense of purpose to their work

•    Work with people of similar values

•    Legacy: Creation of something bigger than themselves

•    Great performance from their suppliers

•    Transparency

•    An organization that listens and responds fairly

•    Alignment on values and a sense of Social Responsibility with their suppliers

The benefits of steering toward a Purpose-driven planning process can be impressive:

  • A more solid and sustainable culture
  •  Strengthened ability to select people who fit the culture and for those who don’t fit are able to quickly opt out.
  •  Enhanced decision-making and prioritization processes
  •  A platform or premise for the organization to be known and to act beyond its current product line up.
  •  Support for rapid change, innovation and excellence in execution.

So, building purpose back into your planning process can re-invigorate the process and remind us of the value the organization holds in the world.  Further, you can see greater levels of engagement from your managers as you turn a dreaded chore into an opportunity to inspire and create.

Also, for clear definitions of Vision, Mission and Strategy, click here.

Contact us to discuss your strategy development process and how we might be able to help.