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Benefits of noble purpose can be shared by everyone

Lisa Earle McLeod provides helpful insights in her column, “Noble purpose provides real value.” She indicates that performing community service is but one element of a noble purpose. McLeod identifies a critical element in noble purpose: adding value to customers.

True, enhancing the customer experience by adding relevant value is nobler and will likely be more motivating than increasing value for unknown shareholders and/or executives. This approach could be taken a few steps further. A truly noble purpose includes consideration of all stakeholders, e.g., employees, customers, suppliers and the community. A commitment to adding value to each stakeholder group requires ongoing, meaningful dialogue with each of these vital components of organizational success. Perhaps McLeod’s reframe (“Provide real value to your customers”) could be “reframed” to read “Provide real value to all of your stakeholders.”

Furthermore, some organizations establish a hierarchy of stakeholders. An analysis of the “Best Places to Work in Western New York” reveals a pattern indicating that organizations that put their employees at or near the top of the stakeholder hierarchy achieve sustained success. The rationale is that employees will probably treat customers in the same manner that they are treated as employees. Motivated and satisfied employees will provide the kind of exceptional customer value that McLeod promotes.

Kudos to McLeod for reminding us of the benefits of noble purpose. A comprehensive approach, which includes all stakeholders, presents an ongoing challenge and a wonderful opportunity for organizations to relate everyday efforts and operations in a meaningful, “purposeful” context, to the benefit of all. Financial success will be only one byproduct of this holistic strategy.

Patrick Heraty

Hamburg