What is Business Success and Purpose Driven Business?

Business Success has many definitions but at 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 (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.