Five Principles for Putting Purpose into Practice

Oct 1, 2021

Being purpose-led and practicing what you preach all comes down to keeping purpose simple and authentic. It involves making sure that purpose is implemented from the top down, that it is celebrated and rewarded, measured effectively, and is shared with staff, stakeholders and customers regularly.

Doing so allows those who work for you – and those who interact with your business or brand externally – to better understand and appreciate their day-to-day dealings and contact with the organisation and support you in progressing successfully along your path forward.

To devise an effective putting purpose into practice (PPiP) plan, there are five principles you should remember:

1. Keep it authentic

A purpose statement should be authentic, simple, motivating, credible and easy for people to rally behind, yet big enough to inspire and reflect the business’ ambition.

2. Board and C-suite must have ownership

It is the responsibility of the board and senior leadership to own, commit to and drive the purpose forward. They need to support, budget for, report on and track the impact of purpose. The business strategy should be built from the purpose out, and strategic decisions at board level should always consider the purpose.

3. Celebrate, reward and recognise

Behaviour that supports the purpose should be acknowledged and celebrated. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives should be linked to purpose outcomes. Employee value proposition (EVP) and customer value proposition (CVP) should be aligned. Onboarding, reviews, staff engagement and training should support the purpose and the organisation’s transformation objectives.

4. Define goals and measurement

Specific goals, both financial and non-financial, should be set and tracked to ensure the purpose is prioritised and put into practice across the organisation. Regular tracking ensures you can keep moving forward and re-align your brand strategy or your PPiP plan if there are significant market challenges or opportunities.

5. Keep it engaging through storytelling

The purpose and its story need to be clearly articulated and compelling for each audience. It must be easy to share the purpose story with all relevant stakeholders in a way that they understand how it influences their day-to-day interaction with the organisation and each other. You should have compelling assets that make it easy for all team members to share the story with their team, stakeholders and customers.

Preparing your PPiP plan, brand strategy and measurement activity is important to ensure your corporate purpose is not a wasted opportunity, and that you are achieving the desired transformation, engagement (inside and out) and business objectives you committed to.

Sound difficult? Not with the right approach and measurement. At Brand Council we’ve been developing corporate purpose, brand strategy and putting purpose into practice for more than 16 years and are happy to share key insights to help you achieve your purpose-led transformation.