A horse called Purpose

By Colin Iles

Everyone knows the hallmarks of a great company right?

Books, articles, blogs & famous quotes all highlight what is required. There is a multi-billion dollar industry that advises us how successful companies innovate faster, collaborate more, use agile techniques, have a customer first focus, utilise new technologies, allow autonomous decision making & promote subservient leadership.

What they neglect to mention is that the real hallmark of a great company is simply that it makes better decisions more often than its competitors.

In this article I argue that purposeful companies make better decisions more often and that by extension they are more likely to become great companies. Conversely, companies that focus on strategy, culture and organisational design before purpose are quite literally putting the cart before the horse and will make poorer decisions.

So let’s start by defining what exactly a purposeful company is.

A purposeful organisation is an organisation whose primary or substantive objective is to benefit a section of society in some way.
Examples include:

  • Tesla (accelerating the advent of sustainable transport)
  • Google (organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful)
  • Discovery (making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives)
  • Each of these companies have outperformed their peers by designing products and services that support their humanitarian purpose.

Read the full article here



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