“There are three core elements that are foundational to the identity of every organization: telos, brand and culture. The outward expression of an organization’s identity (brand) and the inward manifestation of that identity (culture) are well known but the third element, one that is less visible yet deeply significant, is telos – the organization’s purpose-for-others”
It is strange that over two hundred years ago we called the corporation a person in law and then proceeded to act upon it as if it were a machine. The big change levers we relied on were always structural, as in, “restructuring” – it really is much easier to move deck chairs around on the fast moving ship than to change its course. The average lifespan of many senior executives gives them enough time to assess, restructure, re-allocate resources and move on before it doesn’t work as well as hoped. Imagine if we treated real persons the same way – as if the essential elements were only our bodily systems.
When we want to reshape a person’s actions and their sense of self, we instinctively know to concentrate on what gives meaning to their life, what animates their own sense of identity and how that inner sense of self is expressed in relationship to others. Some of us are better at that than others, of course, but that is at least our intention!
In For Goodness’ Sake: Satisfy the hunger for meaningful business, you will begin to see the inextricable connections between a company’s self – its purpose – why it exists, and how that purpose is experienced by others through its brand (or outward identity) and expressed through an authentic culture (or inward identity).