A1. Purpose

purpose-index-picture…of the system* (from the customer’s point of view)

Before we study a system, we should ask ourselves what its purpose is. This must be expressed in a genuine ‘serve customer’ (or citizen) way i.e. NOT internally focused.

Note: If purpose is not clear, then we can come back to this step after we have studied Demand (A2) because studying demand will confirm what our purpose actually is, or has become…or perhaps needs to be.

* See the section on ‘B1. Systems’ to understand what a system means and why this is important.

Post Title: Summary ‘teaser’: Month Published:
Everybody’s talking about it… Our purpose is…: For people to all be ‘pulling in the same direction’, they need to have a clear and common understanding of the purpose of the system that they work within. If purpose is clear then people can self-select whether this fits with what motivates them (i.e. whether to work for an organisation or not)…which enables a win/win situation.  Dec 2014
POSIWID The wise words of Stafford Beer: Stating some ‘cool words’ as the organisation’s purpose does not make it so…people quickly work out the difference between ‘corporate marketing’ and reality. Whether you like it or not, the purpose of the system is what it does. May 2015
The Principle of Mission Napoleon and the twin Battle of Jena-Auerstadt: Leaders need to cease using ‘command and control’ and, instead, spend their time being very clear on the (customer-driven) purpose and enabling people to constantly strive towards it. Rather than dictating method and inspecting its implementation, they should be asking “how do you know how well you are doing in achieving the purpose of the service?” Apr 2016
Starting with ‘Why’ Simon Sinek TEDex video: ‘Purpose’ has to be from the customers’ points of view – something that the employees care about and believe that they can influence in their daily work. Apr 2016
Oxygen isn’t what life is about Purpose, yes…but what about profit? The purpose of the system should always be for the good of the customer – profit is simply a necessary component to attract and retain investors towards this purpose. Apr 2016
Where’s the meat in your sandwich?! The 2016 Workforce Purpose Index: …and what I really think about this! Aug 2016