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A Culture of PurposeIn A Culture of Purpose, Christoph Lueneburger relates how leadership today faces the complex task of building a culture of purpose to power organizations. Pursuing a purpose rooted in commercial success is one of the best ways to plant such a culture in a corporation. A company’s purpose should be bigger than the bottom line. Leadership needs to poses the right combination of competencies, including change leadership, influencing, and commercial drive. Hiring talent that has innate determination, insight, and curiosity will help spread the culture of purpose throughout the organization. Such a winning culture can be cultivated further by imbuing the company with energy, resilience, and openness.

Lueneburger provides readers with the following advice:

  • Leaders with a purpose sit at the core of any culture of purpose. They should be adept at change management, especially when first developing the foundation of a culture of purpose. They should also have the ability to influence others when initiatives begin.
  • As purpose reaches all corners of the organization, leaders who have developed a strong commercial drive coupled with the practical skills to achieve measurable results become central.
  • Hiring the right talent is the only way to perpetuate a culture of purpose over the long haul. Although employees can be helped to develop competence over time, they arrive with certain innate traits that are more or less useful in the journey toward a culture of purpose. Fortunately, candidates with the right traits are naturally drawn to companies pursuing cultures of purpose.
  • Everyone in the organization should have innate curiosity, so all new hires should demonstrate this trait. With curiosity can come insight, or gut instincts that go beyond the data. Determined people are more difficult to manage, but determination is the trait that will help a company power through difficult stages in building a culture of purpose.
  • A robust culture of purpose has energy, resilience, and openness. A common purpose provides initial energy while trust developed through honest and abundant communication ensures resilience. Openness to all stakeholder voices, including critics from the outside, will sustain the organization.
  • Sustainability should not be a drag on commercial performance but a positive goal that imbues the culture of a company with energy and purpose. By moving sustainability from a distracting item on the margins to the very center of the corporate culture, leaders can build winning organizations that stand up to challenges and thrive.

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John Baldoni, author and leadership consultant, believes that “when organizations succeed, it is because they know what they do and why they do it. We say they have ‘purpose.’” In Lead with Purpose, Baldoni lays out a plan for companies whose goals may have become lost in cultures of bureaucracy, lack of creativity, and icy relations among managers and employees. Purpose is an organization’s big picture. All tasks performed by an organization and its employees should focus on a common purpose, whether it is to become the market leader in manufacturing a particular product of delivering health care that makes people well while treating them with dignity and respect.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Purpose Linked Organization, Common Purpose, The Why of Work

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The key to high performance in the workplace goes beyond traditional “hard skills” — passion is an essential element of productivity. Employees who are able to identify a “passion and purpose” in their lives experience heightened engagement and innovation, and they feel connected to their work in exciting new ways. Organizations that cultivate this sense of engagement can gain a valuable edge in today’s competitive marketplace.

In The Purpose Linked Organization, leadership development experts Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon explain the powerful role passion and purpose play in the workplace and explain how leveraging them effectively can enhance organizational performance. Using the ten “Passion Profile Archetypes,” the authors show readers how they can hone the temperaments necessary for high performance and channel them in a positive direction.

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Related book summaries in the BBS library: Purpose, Common Purpose

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