This month’s print edition of HBR makes mention of a new study supporting ‘the purpose-profit’ connection (p32). The study looks at the relationship between strong purpose and public company financial performance. I believe the insights apply to all organizations – That is, any organization with a strong purpose will see increased performance.
The study finds there is a strong link between PURPOSE and PERFORMANCE (or, in my adjusted language, IMPACT). Researchers make a distinction in two types of high purpose organizations. The first is what it calls ‘high camaraderie’ where everyone simply has a sense that they are doing something great, TOGETHER. The second type of purpose is ‘high clarity’ from management. This is noted as the type where managers excel at translating purpose into action.
The statistically significant performance bump was only found with organizations that have ‘purpose clarity.’
As a leader, think not just about PURPOSE, but ‘PURPOSE CLARITY.’ To help you with this, I would bridge some of the findings of the research with some of the For Impact teaching. Think about PURPOSE as an anchor for your STORY. And, by story, I don’t mean a narrative with a beginning-middle-end. I mean how you FRAME the organization.
A GREAT STORY…
- Is anchored in hope-filled purpose (Start with WHY!)
- Simplifies WHAT you do.
- Serves as a litmus for action.
Some of the writing in the research study further supports thinking about placing PURPOSE inside of STORY. “The company’s primary purpose – the real one, which isn’t necessarily the one written in the official documents or etched in the wall plaques – [that] guides its actions and decisions.”
Gartenberg, Claudine Madras and Prat, Andrea and Serafeim, George, Corporate Purpose and Financial Performance (June 30, 2016). Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 16-69. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2840005
Teleseminars are a way for us to offer valuable training to our For Impact Community – in a short, ‘call in from anywhere’ format. Join us this Tuesday and Wednesday for two of our most popular topics:
Teleseminar: How to Make Your Story Awesome
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 1:00-1:45ET
Free for first 50 registrants
The story you use to maximize funding…
The story that brings rockstar talent to your doorstep and fully engages your team…
The story that you tell yourself every day to stay focused and fulfilled.
Story adds passion, purpose and urgency to your message, plan and every day actions.
- Is your story about needing more money? Or changing lives?
- Do you have a good story that helps get to the ask?
- Do we have a story that engages the board? Engaging them as passionate champions and advocates?
This 45 minute teleseminar will:
- Share examples of stories used at organizations to help them with these questions.
- Address common challenges to funding, action and engagement.
- Give you several actionable tools use can use to DISCOVER your story and make it AWESOME.
“Would it be possible for you to consider taking the LEAD on this initiative?” [pointing to $1M]
“Where do you see yourself?”
This seminar covers over 20 PHRASES and QUESTIONS we use to JUST ASK. It’s intended to provide very practical nuts-and-bolts examples to help you visualize HOW to ask:
- New prospects
- Board members
- Long time supporters to step up
Stories and closes will include:
- How to close like Steve Jobs
- How to ask when you have no idea about capacity
- How to ask AFTER the visit — dealing with ‘what I should’ve said was….’
- Three ways to ask your very best prospect to take the lead and how to follow-up when you can’t afford a ‘no’
- Questions to help you qualify on a discovery visit
- How to make sure gifts close by a date / time
- How to address the most common objections when they come up
- How to predispose the prospect to a really really big ask