Organizational Purpose is a Planned Path

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Organizational purpose

Organizational Purpose is a Planned Path

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Organizational purpose is the single most important aspect of getting to where you want to go. It is an expectation of leadership. Does everyone know your plan?

Create buy-in for the change.

Get everybody on-board.

Rally the troops.

One way to struggle is by not making the path clear. Another way is to state what you want as the end result, only the end result doesn’t connect with any specific mission.

Workplace leaders are sometimes baffled by the lack of understanding among employee teams.

Plan the Journey

When you board a plane headed to Dallas, Texas, you expect to touch down in Dallas, Texas. Where the plane is headed is announced in advance, your ticket matches, and you are usually briefed from the cockpit or steward.

It makes sense. You arrive in Dallas.

A different way is to decide you want to go to Dallas, only there isn’t a clear plan or path. You recognize you’re going to get on a plane, yet there is no specific way you’ll get there. You may decide to swing by Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago.

Cost of this undefined trip isn’t known or understood. Timing is flexible or undetermined. You need to end up in Dallas, and you’ll get there but no one is sure of when.

When the purpose or the end result is unclear or when the objectives are not connected to the measurement of time anything can happen. It often does, or perhaps, a surprising outcome, nothing happens.

When you pick a movie from Netflix, you’re usually aware of the genre and the approximate length. Sign up for the workshop and you know the date, time, and location. You’ll also have an idea of the topic and length. Even your navigation system in your car sets some expectations.

Organizational Purpose

When your organizational purpose is more like a slogan don’t expect momentum to carry you through the tough spots.

Make lots of money.

Please every customer.

Just do it.

Slogan’s are important and are typically flexible by design. They are not a mission or a road map. They are more all encompassing rather than specific. A catch-all.

Don’t count on your organizational purpose being defined by a slogan.

Worse, who knows when or if you’ll ever achieve it.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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