Purpose Articulation Project
Creating an authentic, realistic and inspiring Purpose
We worked with a B2B food company who believed they were a purpose-led business and needed to better articulate this for branding and investor & employee engagement reasons. However, when we started to explore their current lexicon around purpose, it became apparent that the viewpoint of leadership was very different to the viewpoint of employees and critical stakeholders. What started out as a Purpose articulation exercise evolved into a deeper dive into what the business actually stood for and the difference it wanted to make in the world.
What we did
Our initial investigation of their purpose lexicon (e.g., via stakeholder interviews) identified that contrary to leadership belief, the majority of stakeholders did not think the business was very purposeful.
In order to develop constructive outcomes, we decided to capture better what critical stakeholders thought of and wanted from the company in relation to purpose. We expanded the consultation stage, researched the sector, and investigated the foundations of the firm to understand motivations and the embedded desire for impact that existed.
It became clear that a robust supply chain with thriving families (as one unique ingredient was 80% of their product formulation) and the health and nutrition of customers, were the strongest driving and motivating factors for the business and stakeholders. However, their current approach to their supply chain and customer health had suffered reductions in investments over the last decade, leaving a scattered approach to both their supply chain and product innovation. There was a gap between their desired purpose, and their current impact.
We presented back the direction the 'Purpose' research was going in, which got a very positive response from the Board. However, for a Purpose to be authentic, we also presented back the insights from stakeholders of their current impact and missed opportunities.
We recommended if the Purpose Statement felt right, then they needed to step up their current approach to their supply chain, and product R&D. We ran several workshops to find agreement and scope what living their Purpose meant practically. This led to the identification of good work that could be leveraged further, and a rethink of how they invested in their supply chain and R&D.
We helped them realise that their new Purpose had to have evidence and authenticity of impact and accurately represent the journey the business was on. Subsequently, they have strengthened their supply chain and collaborated with key suppliers to introduce new ranges of food products and diversified their portfolio, leading to increased sales and being better protected from copy-cat competitors.