The most impactful thing you can do as a leader is create a strong sense of identity for your organisation.
A well-defined organisational identity makes business goals clear, focuses attention on what’s important and provides a clear sense of not only what employees and executives are supposed to do, but why what they’re doing fundamentally matters.
Creating and fostering a strong sense of organisational identity requires asking a different set of questions than the ones leaders typically think about when formulating their vision, mission or strategy.
Questions such as:
Your core belief defines your company’s fundamental reason for being – its purpose. This is why you get up each day and come to work for this organisation. It guides culture and provides a framework for consistent decision making. Crucially, your core belief is not the pursuit of profits, but the animating force for achieving them.
It is critical for a company to define its identity correctly. Define your identity too narrowly and you could become blind to new opportunities. Define it too broadly and you could find yourself becoming irrelevant to your customers. Define it in functional, industry terms, and you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself from others in your sector.
Your customers choose you for a reason. Of all the other businesses they could have spent their money with, they picked yours. It’s not because you have a better product or service. It’s because ‘what you do’ provides the best solution to the problem your customers are facing.
Your ambition lets everyone know what your organisation is ultimately striving to achieve.
Being clear about where you want the business to be enables employees to easily identify the specific actions and commitments required to make that future happen.
Principles are a line in the sand that you will not cross. They makes expectations around behaviours clear so you can be confident that your people will make decisions aligned with where you want to go as an organisation.
“Along with the $1.4b acquisition of
MLC, our ‘ideology’ was one of the most
pivotal things we did in 2020.”
– Renato Mota, CEO IOOF