Develop A Purpose-Driven Operating System For Your Company - BusinessBlog : McGraw-Hill
Featured HR & Training Leadership

Develop A Purpose-Driven Operating System For Your Company

If you are familiar with a computer’s operating system, you know that it is “the software that supports a computer’s basic functions, such as scheduling tasks, executing applications and controlling peripherals.” At least that is the Google definition. As you also know, an operating system is a driving component of what makes a computer function, as the definition also explains.

With this in mind, I termed what I call the Purpose-Driven Operating System. Similar to a computer, a company has a driving component. What might that be? While profits might seem the likely answer, in my opinion it is the company’s purpose. Of course profits are the end goal of any company that wants monetary success, but what will fuel the company and its people is its vision, values and purpose. It starts by breaking through layers and silos, connecting to the front lines and lifting people up.

In my upcoming book The Frontline CEO: Turn Employees into Decision Makers Who Innovate Solutions, Win Customers, and Boost Profits, I share 9 ways to develop a Purpose-Driven Operating System. Here is a sneak peek at a few of those:

Align Around Purpose Rather Than Organizational Charts – Create a higher purpose to guide yourself and the organization through good times and bad. Use purpose as your compass, the primary aligning function for change, learning and growth, rather than your organizational chart. Prioritize people over process.

Include Everyone On the Field – Encourage people to join with their full engagement, all of their discretionary effort and with their whole self. Meet people where they are, demonstrate compassion, listen in order to understand and foster inclusivity. Show your belief in the company’s purpose and your belief in your people to connect into one belief system that fuels the company.

Reshape Your Relationship With Customers and Attack Complexity Together – Get outside of your four walls and extend your relationships and purpose into the world of your customers. Empathize with the problems they face and innovate solutions together to align your company with the changing world of the customers you serve. Use your understanding of customers’ needs and desires, to calibrate your compass.  

Advance Together Recognize that the strength of communities and organizations are in the diversity of their people and the ability to balance individual freedom with the collective pursuit of common good. This happens when business and community leaders demonstrate frontline leadership by actively engaging with members, listening and responding to different perspectives, collaborating to develop solutions together.

Want to read more? Pre-order your own copy of The Frontline CEO via this link or anywhere great books are sold.

Eric Strafel is the founder of SUMMi7, focused on improving business and society by creating opportunities for underrepresented communities. For more than 25 years, the former CEO and Fortune 500 executive has dedicated himself to building forward-thinking teams and scaling innovation to create transformational organizations that thrive in an increasingly entrepreneurial and purpose-driven world. His recent corporate leadership roles include Vice President of Strategy and Market Development for Boeing Global Services and President/CEO of Aviall, where he led the creation of the framework for Aviall’s 20/20 vision for future growth. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM). With years of experience as a leader in enterprise businesses, Eric is passionate about helping small and midsize companies grow profits and scale with purpose while leveraging their strengths, maintaining their values and harmonizing all of life’s pursuits. He is on a mission to share collaborative leadership strategies and create opportunities for a more human-centric and inclusive planet. His driving motivation behind The Frontline CEO is assisting leaders in transforming their businesses to embrace and manage change while empowering their teams to fulfill their purpose. Through SUMMi7, Eric is working city-by-city partnering with companies and organizations to impact people and businesses on a global scale, while building a more inclusive business environment that helps position companies to lead, innovate and scale with purpose. Eric holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Texas Diversity Council and the Irving Chamber of Commerce. He is an active and engaged father and husband. Living in Texas with his wife and three children, Eric enjoys the outdoors, staying fit, and maintaining a wellness mindset. A world traveler with a global perspective, Eric has travelled across six continents both personally and professionally.