4 Ways to Align Purpose and Profit with an Impact-Driven Team

December 19, 2017 Daniel McCollum

The formula that helped Torrent Consulting grow 100+% in a year

In business, impact and profit aren’t mutually exclusive. Integrating the two at Torrent Consulting has helped us to grow fast — we’ve seen well over 100% revenue growth year over year for the last three. It also keeps our team motivated.

But we’re not the only ones.

Decades of research show that employees are less motivated by short-term incentives and more driven by intrinsic factors, like purpose. In his book, researcher Daniel Pink explains how employees yearn to know that their work contributes to a larger whole. He recommends that management find ways to infuse mundane business activities with deeper, soul-stirring ideals (like honor, truth, justice and love). Basically, give your organization a purpose.

The idea can seem a little overwhelming, right? The good news is that you can start bringing impact into your organization in four steps:

1. Craft impact-driven company values.

Many companies opt for core values that explain how they do things (“Quality,” “Integrity,” “Urgency”), but totally miss the mark on addressing why they’re doing any of those things. As bestselling author Simon Sinek shares, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And the reason why you — and your employees — do something absolutely shapes how it’s done.

Your core values must explain who you are and why you do what you do. Give your organization an identity and purpose to align with as you serve your customers. You don’t have to completely rewrite your core values to create an impact-driven team, but consider refreshing them in a way that articulates your company’s mission.

2. Have a strong sense of your individual purpose.

What’s your personal mission? Doctors know that people with purpose in their lives are less prone to disease, but researchers have found that fewer than 20 percent of leaders have a strong sense of their own individual purpose. Building an impact-driven team means leading by example.

After witnessing hardships suffered by children in Argentina, Blake Mycoskie was driven by a purpose of wanting to help by providing shoes. He then created TOMS Shoes. The company matches every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair for a child in need and has provided over 60 million pairs of free shoes. Mycoskie understood his life’s purpose.

Think about what ideas make you feel most alive or drive you to get out of bed every morning. Write about them in a company email. Talk about them with your team. Engage in activities that support your mission, and invite employees to join. That’s how you live your purpose.

3. Hire people who care about making an impact.

Focus on hiring people, not resumes. Look for candidates who care deeply about driving impact both for your customers and the greater community. These might be people who are very vocal about a cause they care about, or even those that volunteer often. They might have even worked for impact-driven companies before.

During interviews, ask candidates what they’re passionate about outside of work. What do they like to do? What drives them? Or cut right to the chase: How important is it for them to work on an impact-driven team?

Once you hire a new employee, give them a chance to share their individual impact goals with the rest of the team during a meeting or company-wide introduction email. This reinforces your company’s dedication to creating an impact.

4. Think beyond impact-driven financial models.

Oftentimes companies that desire impact set aside funds, but there’s so much more we can all be doing. Consider offering a percentage of each quarter’s profits toward ventures you believe in, but then also check out Salesforce’s 1–1–1 philanthropic model, which encourages you to layer resources like volunteer time and technological resources on top of financial support.

Building an impact-driven team is not about inspirational mission statements or words painted on an office wall. Take action. Live and breathe your purpose so that it shines through every product or service you offer, every customer you serve and every initiative you take on. Together, we can build something greater.

Torrent Consulting harnesses the power of people, process and technology to transform business. Learn more here.

4 Ways to Align Purpose and Profit with an Impact-Driven Team was originally published in Inside the Salesforce Ecosystem on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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