A lot of entrepreneurs are still hazy on the subject of building a business culture of doing good; like helping people or the environment – is a big jump towards maximizing profit. Workers and Customers alike are looking for meaning, not just employment and commodity prices. Virtually, every company needs this kind of focus to attract the best of minds and loyalty in both categories.
I stumbled upon this neat little read, a book by Christoph Lueneburger called “A Culture of Purpose”. It speaks of cultivating a culture of purpose that is detrimental in bringing about success as well as sustainability. I completely understand now what a company needs to stand out in the already saturated market. With thousands of company just springing from the ground, it’s already difficult to separate your company from the rest of the crowd.
In order for a company to stand and voice out from the rest of the humdrum, a leader must develop a “culture of purpose”, influencing those above and below him. But, one might ask, what specific culture should a leader create?. According to the author, the best way to establish a culture of purpose is hiring change leaders who are committed to building one. Reading this book one understands that the author has been studying this topic deeply based on a vast array of experiences with senior leaders.
Some of these have delivered breakthrough performances by committing to a purpose; others are seeking their way to the same destination.
Let’s take Thomas Edison as an example. Thanks to Edison and to the efforts of other inventors such as de la Rue and Swan, our society has been liberated from a near-total reliance on daylight. Basing off on Edison’s light bulbs, the first carbon arc lamps were pioneered in the early 19th century by Humphry Davy. Due to their tremendous forward thinking, we would still be living in the dark and scraping candle wax. Innovation after innovation brought by initiative and hindsight from these individuals created a sphere of influence. What becomes clear is that in inspiring the hearts and minds of people, purpose becomes the core of the culture itself.
So, it is important for an individual or a business to develop the necessary culture around it. These cultures are of energy, resilience, and openness.
Nurture your current leadership strengths. Learn how to recognize, develop and leverage the competencies of your current abilities to develop a leadership team. Highlight individuals with business acuity as well as purpose as role models.
Find the right team. Ask the right questions to spot the innate personality traits in potential new hires, regardless of level and function. Employees with a purpose are easier to recruit and retain.
Materializing the culture into an action plan. Build an environment that releases these competencies and prepares and pushes them to the fray. Shaping people to relate to one another and make them go for what would originally be out of reach for them. Success is people moving from pass to a proactive standpoint.
In most cases, the change starts by putting leaders with a purpose at the core, hiring talent with a purpose at the front-lines, and then building and extending the culture of purpose both inside and outside the organization.