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Put Purpose at the Core of Strategy

Competition for new growth and opportunity is fierce and relentless. In this fight, business leaders are often left puzzled as to why their strategies, the result of arduous planning and painstaking research, struggle to beat expectations and differentiate their company in the marketplace.

Most corporate strategy today suffers from three faults. It is too internally focused – we are obsessed with how we operate on a day-to-day basis. It is incremental – let’s take last year’s results and see if we can improve on that by 2-3% next year. And, finally, it is reactive – when we see a problem or an opportunity, we react with knee-jerk initiatives. It is easy to see why this approach leads to unfulfilled visions, sluggish performance and uninspired teams.

How can companies become more focused on the outside world and its opportunities? How can we take big leaps rather than small steps? How do we become proactive and ready to lead our industries?

Our research has found that the answer is – Purpose.

Putting purpose at the core of corporate strategy is a critical driver of growth, profitability and organizational relevance. To achieve this, purpose must play two distinct roles to: (1) redefine the playing field – beyond traditional boundaries to grow and transform the ecosystem, and (2) redesign the value proposition – beyond transactions to foster deep and wide customer relationships that endure.

Redefining the playing field enables companies to avoid market share battles and pursue growth with the logic, “we grow by growing the ecosystem.”

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