What goals should you set for your organisation? There are so many it can become a blizzard of goals: grow customers, grow revenue, grow profitability, improve returns, cut costs, improve productivity, deliver a balanced scorecard, achieve sustainable growth and so many more. So many of these goals can even come at the expense of the purpose of your organisation and the people who make it up.
What if there was a simpler shared and meaningful goal that grew the value and sustainability of your organisation?
The focus on purpose means this applies for not-for-profits, for-purpose organisations and for profit organisations. If you aren’t doing better by growing your capacity to deliver your purpose then you have a fundamental business model problem. Purpose should be the reason for every action and the measure by which all organisation activity is judged. Remember purpose is a benefit to people outside the organisation and that external focus helps capture the social, environmental and stakeholder benefits lost in a pure accounting calculation.
In the short term the people in your organisation is largely fixed. In a tight labour market, it can be hard to add people and the expense and time of the process might be challenging. You don’t want to lose people either. Developing your people’s potential, capabilities and capacities to deliver on purpose is the best way to gain leverage on your expensive and talented employees. You worked so hard to hire them, why wouldn’t you want to see them grow into the rewards of better delivering purpose?
For the engineers worried I am focused on the human here, growing human potential in this way demands a focus on the whole set of systems around the humans. For the accountants worried that this sounds like expense, we are investing in improved productivity and improved value. For managers worried that talented people will leave, we can assure you people in unrewarding work leave faster. For learning and development, this measure brings focus to the panoply of things that could be developed and forces a winnowing of all the showy learning that adds little value to performance.
Some times the simplest goals are the most far reaching in their effects. Some times the measures you choose become a catalytic mechanism for organisational and social transformation. Focusing on the potential of employees to deliver your organisation purpose will challenge you and your organisation every day to grow, to add meaningful value and to do more.