Business Success and the Purpose Driven Business

What is Business Success and Purpose Driven Business?

Business Success has many definitions but at the Business Solutions Initiative (BSi) we have found the one that encapsulates the real meaning for us is the achievement of Business Purpose.

Business Purpose is why the business exists, what value it adds and what difference it makes in the world.

A Purpose Driven Business is a business that attains sustainable Business Success through the drive to achieve Business Purpose.

Many business leaders equate Business Success with revenue and profit but this is often not sustainable in the long term. There needs to be a purpose beyond money and profit. This is the core Business Purpose that allows the business to add value and make a difference within its community, environment and the world.

This does not mean that revenue and profit are not important; in fact they are critical enablers to Business Success. Revenue and profit become the means to achieve Business Purpose through the creation of a sustainable business, but revenue and profit must be seen in this context; as a metric to monitor progress towards Business Success.

Through our research and working with hundreds of business teams and organisations we have found that there are three core Pillars of Business Purpose and without all three pillars being in place true Business Success cannot be achieved.

The Three Pillars of Business Purpose

Business Purpose Pillar 1: Purpose Driven Goals

When ambitious young business leaders or entrepreneurs first start a business, they typically focus on using the IQ or “Hard Skills” they have developed in business school or through previous business experience. They start developing visions and missions, defining financial goals and KPI’s, building organisation structures, writing job descriptions and responsibilities, creating products and solutions, developing complex commission and bonus plans and doing market research and strategy. They employ people based on qualifications and job history and try to manage the business to success.

They soon find, that although they have achieved a measure of success, they haven’t really achieving the goals they wanted.

It is important to note that Hard Skills are fundamental to business success. If they are not there the business will fail, but on their own they are not enough.

Business Purpose Pillar 2: Purpose Driven People

Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs soon come to understand that business is made up of people – not just themselves and their own employees, but their shareholders, customers, partners and suppliers as well. They discover that EQ or “Soft Skills” are important and start working on developing these in their organisations. They focus on personality profiling and people skills development and although they start to get motivated people and their businesses improve, they still do not achieve the ultimate goals they want.

In many cases they find that the more they focus on developing individuals, the lower their staff retention rates become. Their salary and wage bills go up, but revenue does not climb at the same rate.

They realise that they have created purpose driven individuals and teams, but in many cases these purposes did not align with the business purpose.

Again it is important to note that Soft Skills are a core component of business success and need to be developed in addition to Hard Skills but if they are not aligned true success cannot be achieved.

Business Purpose Pillar 3: Purpose Driven Action

In order to achieve real business success it is necessary to align the overriding business goals and purpose with the individual goals and purpose of the employees.

This is the third and critical Pillar of Business Purpose and is where Purpose Driven Goals (IQ Hard Skills) and Purpose Driven People (EQ Soft Skills) are aligned with each other to deliver Purpose Driven Action (PaQ Purpose Alignment Skills). Purpose Driven Action is the key activity and focus of all the stakeholders in the organisation and makes sure that individual goals and purpose and business goals and purpose are aligned.

It is only by ensuring this that true Business Success will be achieved.

It is very important to understand that not everyone in the organisation will have their Personal Purpose aligned with the Business Purpose. This does not mean that these people should not be part of the organisation, it just means that they need to be managed differently.

How do we create Purpose Driven Action?

We create Purpose Driven Action by using The Thunder Formula; the methodology developed by the Business Solutions Initiative (BSi).

The Thunder Formula methodology has been derived from both real world business experience as well as theory and research. It has intentionally been kept as simple as possible, as simplicity is one of the keys to understanding, sustainability and success. Although the principles and processes used are simple, often the implementation requires a bit more work! There is no quick fix, or silver bullet. Business success requires ongoing effort and commitment.

What is The THUNDER Formula?

The Thunder Formula is the methodology we use to create PaQ or Purpose Aligned Skills, the critical component to ensure Purpose Driven Action. THUNDER is simply a Mnemonic for the process to develop Purpose Driven Action. There are four components to the Thunder Formula:

TH: THink

UN: UNderstand

DE: DEploy

R: Review

We have found the usual approach for getting things done in a business is based on the decisions being made by management and then applying it, reviewing it and changing it if the outcome is not the one desired. This only takes into account DEploy and Review and bypasses THink and UNderstand.

A typical example of this approach is the manipulation of commissions and bonuses in the hope that sales will increase without understanding the motivators and drivers of individuals in the sales team.

Why does The THUNDER Formula work?

The key differentiator of The THUNDER Formula is contained in the first two elements; THink and UNderstand.

Thinking is one of the most critical, and unfortunately one of the most underutilised, skills in business. THinking is not just for the senior people in a business, it is for everyone. It is essential that everyone thinks through the process of their own purpose as well as the business purpose. Training is a key element here, but training on its own does not achieve purpose, training has to be understood and applied.

This brings us to UNderstand. Without understanding of both individual purpose and business purpose and how they work together very little will be achieved. We need to create and develop understanding in a safe and secure environment before it is put into practice.

It is only at this point that we DEploy and Review.

Only by bringing all four elements of the Formula together in a sequential, managed and facilitated programme will Purpose Driven Action be achieved.

A THUNDER Programme is developed specifically for each organisation or business we work with and is put together using tools from our THUNDER Toolbox.

THUNDER Programmes

Our approach with clients is to always focus on the key underlying performance metrics that drive business purpose and business success. In commercial businesses these metrics are inevitably revenue and profit but in non-commercial organisations the core performance metrics may be something different and it is always important to identify these at the beginning of any engagement.

We then engage directly with the person ultimately responsible for the delivery of these metrics, and hence the responsibility for ensuring business success.

We jointly identify the key areas in the business that are not aligned, resulting in them not performing optimally, and develop an alignment programme based on The THUNDER Formula to address these areas. We agree on targets for improvement in the performance metrics.

We find in many cases that we initially need to start off by identifying the alignment areas through the use of a number of the tools from our THUNDER Toolbox . Although the performance deficiencies are readily visibly, the underlying causes are often not clearly understood.

We have found that we generally start a programme by using one of the following three tools from The THUNDER Toolbox:

  1. Executive Coaching with the CEO/MD.

  2. Leadership programmes with the senior management team.

  3. Vantagepoint Workshops with the extended management team.

Each of these tools enables us to start to highlight areas that we need to focus on with The THUNDER Formula and to develop and refine the Programme, with deliverables, timing and costs.


Addendum 1:

THUNDER Programmes

There is no standard THUNDER Programme as every organisation is different, both in terms of its own purpose, as well as the people who work in it. We therefore develop a tailored programme for each of our clients. The common thread is that they all follow The THUNDER Formula of THink, UNderstand, DEploy and Review, but the tools we use and how we use them will be different in each case.

We have found that a typical programme will have a duration of a minimum of 6 months. We have found the most effective programmes comprise of a quarterly two day workshop and then regular weekly and monthly interactions. We rarely get involved in full time interventions, although this can happen when we carry out interim management or project specific consulting functions.

Below are some typical programmes:

Programme 1: Management Team Alignment

  • Quarterly Vantagepoint Workshops

  • Monthly Executive Coaching

  • Bi- weekly Leadership Development Programme

  • Weekly Management Meeting Facilitation

  • Monthly Programme Reviews

Programme 2: Sales Team Alignment

  • Quarterly workshops including skills training, Vantagepoint and Role plays.

  • Monthly Sales Team Performance Review Meetings

  • Monthly Sales Manager Coaching/Mentoring Session.

  • Weekly Sales Team Mastermind Meetings.

  • Weekly Sales Team Meeting Facilitation

  • Sales Team Consulting Support

  • Monthly Programme Reviews.

Programme 3: Operations/Administration Alignment

  • Quarterly Vantagepoint Workshops

  • Monthly Executive Coaching

  • Bi-weekly Group Coaching

  • Weekly Mastermind Groups.

Typical Costs and Value

As each programme varies, costs are specific to each customer and programme. A key philosophy in all our interventions is that we should continuously be adding value, and this needs to be measured against agreed metrics. We know we can guarantee performance results if we are able to manage all the variables driving the performance metrics, but in reality this rarely happens so we have found the best way to work , and the most acceptable to our clients, is to work on a fixed monthly fee with the ability of the client to cancel the agreement at a months’ notice if they are not satisfied with performance.

During the course of a programme we have found that three programme variations may occur.

The first is where we can change the content of the programme to address a different issue while keeping the monthly fee the same.

The second is where we increase the content of the programme and change the monthly fee accordingly.

The third is where a specific additional interaction or service is required and we carry this out under a separate agreement.

We have found that monthly costs of a programme would typically be in the order of the cost of a middle to senior manager in your organisation.

Addendum 2:


The THUNDER Formula Toolbox contains a wide selection and array of THUNDER Tools covering four areas:

  • THinking Tools

  • UNderstanding Tools

  • DEployment Tools

  • Reviewing Tools.

THinking Tools

Business Skills Training

Training is a key component to generate effective thinking and we can provide practical training courses and programmes covering all areas (S – Strategy, S – Sales, O – Operations, A – Administration, P – Personnel) of business through BSi SSOAPBox Training Programmes.

Leadership Development Programmes

We provide accredited John Maxwell Leadership and Training programmes based on the work of John C Maxwell, one of the world’s leaders in Leadership Development.

Business Mastermind Groups

We are experts in developing and running Mastermind Group programmes for introspective thinking development by teams and groups.

UNderstanding Tools

Vantagepoint Workshops

The well established and proven Vantagepoint Business Simulation Toolset is used extensively for creating a solid understanding of how individual and business skills and purpose align.

Business Role-play Simulations

Business role-plays and simulations are used to put skills into practice in a safe and non-threatening environment.

Leadership Workshop facilitation

Workshops for small groups, teams or even the entire company are designed and facilitated to ensure clear thinking and understanding around the business and the individual’s role in it.

DEployment Tools

Servant Salesmanship Programmes

The CHAMP Servant Salesmanship System has been developed and used over many years based on the underlying principles of Servant Leadership and Value add in order to develop and create sustainable and profitable relationships with clients.

Business Consulting

Highly focussed and measurable Business Consulting interventions can be carried out across all areas of business.

Interim Management Assignments

Interim management and Mentoring assignments are core components for the effective deployment of Purpose Driven Action.

Operational Financing Solutions

Operation off balance sheet financing solutions.

Reviewing Tools

Executive Coaching

Executive Business Coaching is delivered through highly skilled and experienced Business Coaches in order to review the impact of the intervention on business performance.

Team Coaching

Team and Group Coaching is a key component in reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of a Purpose Driven Action programme.

Business Audits

Audits can be carried out to measure and evaluate programme performance.

Addendum 3: BSi and the BSi Team

The BSi Team was established in 2012 by Paul Whalley and Mark Williams and is a group of professional services and product suppliers who have collaborated to provide comprehensive purpose-driven business solutions to support the growth and sustainability of businesses in the South African market.

The key differentiator of The BSi Team is the vast skills and knowledge base that has been gained through extensive real world experience in starting, building and running businesses in the challenging South African market place. The BSi Team brings together real world experience of the application of solid business principles, not just knowledge through academic study and business consulting.

Members of the BSI Team represent, or are certified by, several leading global organisations and have developed many unique and effective tools that have been proven both locally and internationally.