Because it is crucial to consider which is most important: doing the right thing (in relation to purpose) or doing what is most cost-effective? In a contemporary context this question is often linked to issues such as purpose, quality, environment and social engagement. It is often not a simple question but it is very important to consider because to a large extent it determines the culture of the company and the message it sends to people. If the company most often does not do the right thing in relation to its environment, customers or society will it do the right thing for its workers? If you are a worker what does this mean for your engagement levels and the purpose and alignment of activities? Purpose is becoming more and more important to attracting new generations of young, talented people!
Reflect and have a discussion on how doing the right thing is or is not a struggle when choosing the most cost-effective solutions. What effect could this have on the engagement and ownership people feel? We don’t have any off-the-shelf solutions but feel that making this a topic for discussion is becoming increasingly important.
In essence, this is one of the most fundamental discussions you can have: is your company driven to earn money and to win or is it driven by a core purpose.
Make the winning vs purpose question a topic of reflection within the leading team of the company or department.
Take certain opportunities to ask co-workers the following question: what kinds of products, activities and goals would make you really proud (of the company, not in general!).
When you feel that it has become relevant, i.e. that there could be a real or perceived schism between the purpose and values of the company on the one hand and the behavior and activities of the company on the other.