Formerly a professor of Food and Beverage and Service Operations Management at the world-renowned Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne, Ian Scarth has a background in strategic development and leadership within the hotel and hospitality sectors.
Here Ian continues his insights into what it means to be a Purpose-driven organisation.
You can read Part 1 of the article here.
Purpose-driven organisations: Part 2
a company has a clear vision of its Purpose, it can go on to develop the Purpose-driven
individuals that will undoubtably have to implement this new approach.
the new Purpose is communicated out and starts to cascade through the organisation,
ownership becomes instinctive and natural to all motivated frontline staff.
example, a waiter’s personal Purpose could be to ensure that customer
expectations are surpassed, and a memorable experience is delivered. In which
case, the company needs to fully support the waiter in achieving that Purpose,
which in turn contributes to the wider company Purpose of providing
“exceptional customer satisfaction”.
this is achieved is related to the ownership of that Purpose. This does not eliminate the need for
standards, procedures and processes, but does give the owner (the waiter) the
freedom to apply his own personality and creativity to the task in hand and
develops a want to participate in the original standard setting process to
which he is working. Giving this ownership demonstrates trust and in turn trust
leads to a feelgood factor that adds to the organisation’s cultural foundation.
leadership has to become a thing of the past, while inclusive and involved
leadership a thing of the future. This is a hard concept for some leaders to
come to terms with. However, failure to grasp this notion will lead to
dissatisfaction on the part of those being led, and frustration on the part of
must be given to how the organisation articulates and communicates its Purpose
to the wider business. For example, the waiter’s Purpose will certainly differ
from that of the chef’s, who is more focused on product than service. However,
they are both vital in the company’s efforts to achieve its overall Purpose of exceptional
Purpose and passion are aligned, the journey toward a “Higher Purpose” becomes
smoother and more impactful. The bumps and bends of the road are left behind as
the organisation takes advantage of the freeway ahead to accelerate towards its
agreed milestones. If any waiter has passion fuelling an agreed Purpose and
more freedom to achieve that Purpose, his guests will certainly enjoy a more
memorable dining experience.
too often in the past, employees have been asked to show passion, without any
ownership of the Purpose and have not been provided with the time or tools to
express that passion. They are set-up in firefighting mode and have to battle
just to survive the working day.
Offering the best pay rates will no longer attract and retain
inspired employees, life is too full of stress, uncertainty and depression.
Today’s high-performance environments have to be built on a foundation that
includes both tangible employee benefits and intangible experience, that meet
the challenges of today’s working environment.
Failure to deliver these intangibles will almost certainly result
in employee dissatisfaction and a higher degree of stress, anxiety, depression
and demotivation, all of which were growing in the workplaces well before Covid
I’ve noticed a growing number of CEOs calling for a return to the
office on the grounds that working from home is reducing productivity. This may
well be the case. It’s also very probable that many people are looking forward
to a return to the workplace, as they miss colleagues and the comradery and
banter that is not available at home or over Skype/Teams. Taking such steps
without identified objectives and clarity of Purpose could transport business
practices back into the old norm, and not provide the employee with the
involvement and participation they desire.