Hard social media age realities mean companies had better anchor in their truest core values—or incur the wrath of stakeholders. In Chief Executive, Ryan Baum provides insight into how you can identify your purpose and values and use them as a bulwark against controversy.
Recent white-hot controversies have made it clear that companies can’t simply explain their way out of a values conflict with their own customers and employees. That means they need to anchor their public identity in their core beliefs and principles for consistency and authenticity.
No organization that truly knows itself and its stakeholders needs to waver in the face of controversy. Responses become automatic.
But since not every company can easily identify its authentic principles or its most sacred core values, there’s work to be done. The best place for a company’s senior management team to start is with a long look in the mirror. That can allow you to uncover your company’s purpose as something that’s deeply authentic to your people’s beliefs.
Articulate and activate your purpose
There’s a reason why any specific set of human beings all end up at the same company. It may not be articulated or understood explicitly, but it’s there. Sure, it could be because you offer the best pay and benefits, but in many cases it’s bigger than that—especially if someone has been at the company for more than five years.
Oftentimes that reason is some sort of shared belief about how the world should work. Look inward to your people. Do the cultural archeology work to uncover what that reason is. Then use it as a guiding light to determine what the team authentically cares about. That can be a filter in deciding what issues are actually right to take a stand on. Uncover it and state it!
Once you articulate a purpose, it’s only useful if you can start building it into the decision making processes at the company. There are rigorous ways to do that, but one simple action can be to start ending all of your meetings by asking the question, how does what we decided here today resonate, violate or not apply to our articulated purpose?
Then only act on the things that resonate. It’s relatively easy to avoid action on things that violate your purpose. But you also need to not take action on things that don’t apply.
Oops! We could not locate your form.
For example, if you’re all about financial equity and access, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to suddenly step into issues of environmental sustainability. You can support environmental action personally if you personally care about that, but it isn’t authentic to what the organization stands for, it’s probably a distraction from the clarity and consistency of what the company is trying to do in the world.
Read the full article on Chief Executive.
What WeWork Can Teach Every Business About Launching New Ventures
WeWork, a darling of the disruptive tech industry, officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following years of financial distress. The company’s grim fate isn’t just a cautionary tale for startup founders or venture capitalists. In his latest article for Forbes, Dev Patnaik unpacks WeWork’s mistakes to provide lessons that every leader should heed when launching new ventures in their organizations.
Leaders Must Move From Execution to Strategy to Draw the Next Big S-Curve
Many businesses have experienced tremendous growth over the last five years due to strong execution. However, that alone won’t get you to the next S-curve. To do so, Dev Patnaik explains in Forbes, you’ll need a future-focused strategy that defines where to play and how to win next.
Stuck in the Present: Why Most Leaders Are Unprepared for the Next Wave of Growth
As inflation retreats, most leaders know they need to think about what’s next. The bad news is that most won’t be able to. The problem is in our heads. In this article, Dev Patnaik emphasizes the urgent need to become more future-focused and outlines how we can do so, starting with rewiring our brains.