Purpose Department. Chief Purpose Officer, CPO.

Finance department, HR department, Marketing department, Purchasing department, Sales department,etc.

These are the departments which function together and vary in size according to the type and the industry of the business. Each department has its own head or officer who oversees the strategic direction and operation of the department.

Each department is the most important asset in the business. HR people position themselves at the heart of the business. Finance guys consider money the oxygen of the business, so they are vital. IT department acts in this DNA age as the head and the heart of the business. Planning department devises the mission and the strategic direction. The CEO is the highest rank, the leader of the business and the one who oversees the whole show.  

Purpose Department and Chief Purpose Officer

Talking about purpose department and the role of the Chief Purpose Officer require us to reiterate the following:

  • Businesses do not have purposes, their leaders do. A company is just a group of people. Great businesses are measured by their leaders’ purposes in terms of their clarity and consistency. It is the leader’s purpose that draws the big picture for the whole business, its broader contribution, and its final impact.
  • Most businesses are purposeless. The problem arises when entrepreneurs, leaders who built the company forget to form its purpose. The CEO struggle starts, if he or she is not the founder as soon as the company begins to decline financially, they resort to their complicated charts and graphs to adjust and stay afloat.
  • The CEO might not be the perfect CPO. Many CEOs turn over time to COOs, Chief Operating Officers and they forget that their essential task is to make sure that the business is smoothly heading to achieve its purpose.

Who is the perfect candidate for the role of the Chief Purpose Officer?

Is the CEO the new CPO?

As stated, the CEO might not be the perfect match. Who is the perfect candidate?

Closely monitoring the synergy between the purpose of the business and its final impact. This is the central task of leaders, namely Chief Purpose Officers, CPOs.

Who cannot assume the role of the CPO?

  • CPOs cannot be purposeless. No one can flood the world from a drained ocean. If the business is to set up a purpose department and appoint a CPO, then the metric is purpose. If the new appointee irrespective of the rank is purposeless, they cannot be a CPO. This particularly applies to the CEO, officers, executives and all managers in the organization.
  • Appointees without a proven track record advocating purpose personally and professionally.
  • The CPO role cannot go to an officer who is uncaring, selfish, egocentric and greedy.

There are a couple of unavoidable problems

  • Most organizations are purposeless. They operate from fluffy, unsounded and gibberish vision and mission statements. They confuse visions with purpose and goals with strategy.
  • The second problem is that most executives and CEOs are managers not leaders. They influence and control their employees’ behavior inside their organizations with fear and stress.
  • The recruitment and selection metric used in most organizations is a skill metric which does not work with regard to choosing people based on purpose, values and culture.

These are some of the problems that must be addressed and resolved before talking about the role of the Chief Purpose Officers, CPOs in your organization.

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