Another Formula: Purpose = Promise 

In one of our past blog posts, we proposed a simple formula:  

Purpose + Trust = Engagement 

We posited that employees are motivated when they know their organization has a purpose – that it expertly delivers a product or service that is relevant to its customers or clients, or for its community. We went on to say, however, that to truly build employee engagement, purpose must be accompanied by employee trust in the company and its leaders. Importantly, we argued that an organization’s purpose cannot be an empty promise. Leaders need to be able to articulate how the company faithfully delivers its promises. While not the original premise of the post, we clearly made a connection between a company’s purpose and its promise to its constituencies. 

You can imagine, then, we found it gratifying when just recently we were researching another topic and came across an article in Harvard Business Review that clearly makes the same connection. This heading in the article jumped out at us:  

Your Purpose is Your Promise to Your Customers.  

So, if Purpose = Promise, what does this require of us as leaders?  

Two things:  

First, we need to communicate to our employees that what we are doing for our customers is relevant and meaningful and that, as a company, we promise that we will deliver our products or services in a manner that is highly satisfactory to our customers.  

Second, we need to make sure that all our systems and processes support our employees’ efforts to deliver on those promises (reducing “friction” as we wrote about in our December post).  

We once heard our management hero, the late Paul O’Neill, describe what organizations need to do to be successful. “Projects won’t get you there,” he said. “A commitment to habitual institutional excellence will.” In our view, this applies to the concept of delivering on a company’s purpose and promise. As the HBR article notes, we need to build an organization that in all aspects – hiring, processes, employee support – delivers on our purpose and promise. This requires a commitment to excellence in every aspect of delivering on our promise. 

Red Purse Marketing is where marketing, strategy, and leadership come together. We can help you deliver on your promise. Let’s set up a time to chat today:







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