A Strategy Without A Purpose Isn’t A Strategy

Does your business strategy have a purpose?

Renowned management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker once said that “a strategy without a purpose isn’t a strategy.” Indeed, these were wise words from one of the most influential figures in business management, and ones which should resonate with all businesspeople.

Drucker’s statement highlights the need for business decisions to be purpose-driven. He maintains that a strategy which seeks to achieve nothing but financial/business goals isn’t actually a strategy at all. A strategy doesn’t need a goal; it needs a purpose.

If you ask a group of businesspeople what their purpose is, there’s a good chance many of them will reply: “to make money.” But, making money is not a purpose; it is more of an outcome, or an end result.

A purpose is giving reason behind a business’s strategy and decisions. It has a larger impact and focuses on the greater good of the work of an individual or organisation. Those greater goods may involve anything from raising literacy rates, to feeding the world or reducing humans’ environmental impact.

Purpose makes businesses strong and successful as it encourages people to engage with its work, particularly if that purpose resonates with many individuals. For a business to have a strong sense of purpose it must do three things: it must define its purpose, it must communicate its purpose to all relevant individuals, and it must ensure that the purpose plays a huge part in everything it does.

Purpose can be seen as an extension of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as it shows that a business is making a conscious effort to go above and beyond what is expected. A purpose, therefore, should be the driving force behind any business strategy.