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.