What is a chief purpose officer?

The era of strange job titles is here. Some businesses are debating whether they truly need a Chief Purpose Officer, a term that sounds futuristic to some but is quickly becoming conventional. Leaders are creating such jobs as an effective approach to integrate purpose in the DNA of firms, acknowledging the value of meaning as a fundamental motivator.

Harvard discovered that while over 83 percent of global CEOs feel that activating purpose within their organization will benefit their company’s performance and success, barely one-third of those same executives believe they are doing a good job at it.

The CPO’s job is to make sure that an organization’s purpose is visible both publicly and internally, in terms of strategy, branding, and culture. They also try to ensure that purpose-driven behavior and strategy are ingrained throughout the organization. Identifying corporate purpose through defining key values and actions, incorporating purpose into the core company strategy, and advising on decision-making processes to ensure business activities correspond with stated purpose and values are just a few of the tasks.

Some CPOs are interested in leading projects to align operations in tackling environmental and social concerns, teaching employees about corporate mission and how their work contributes to it, and cooperating on social and environmental activation programs.

A CPO can ensure that an organization’s target audiences are reached. The thread that binds a brand together is its purpose. Consistency of purpose, as the essence of what an organization does, is what produces a strong brand. A constant purpose is an irrefutable competitive advantage that promotes revenue as audiences flock to the brand that emotionally relates with them at a time when public trust is low.

Personalities, views, and techniques can divide team members and leaders, but in an organization, everyone must be unified by the brand’s shared principles and goals. The CPO’s job is to bring everyone together around the company’s mission. The existence of such a position strengthens team bonds by providing common ground, improves efficiency, and guarantees that objectives are reached. When people have the same vision, they are more likely to connect with one another and collaborate to achieve it. The CPO is the vision’s messenger and guardian.

To motivate team members, the CPO employs purpose. In some ways, the position represents the pinnacle of HR, as research shows that purpose has a big influence on today’s workers. People prefer a job that is more important than making money. When a company discovers and conveys its true purpose, it may attract top people and boost its overall performance. Purpose enhances the culture, drives performance, increases employee retention, and stimulates innovation, all of which increase job happiness. Such a crucial component of business need the presence of a leader to monitor it.

However, some executives are disputing whether a CPO is necessary and whether his or her responsibilities may be fulfilled by other C-Suite executives. You get a healthy and aligned sense of who the organization is and what they stand for when purpose fulfills its job as intended. It appears in unexpected areas, not simply in cultural messaging and the website’s “who we are” page.

A powerful mission is one that is put into action, not just talked about but used to make decisions in the organization’s beating heart, operations. As a result, it has been suggested that the chief operational officer be the ‘chief purpose officer.’ If you don’t have a chief operational officer, consider who in your organization is in charge of “how we do things” – it may be a general manager or someone with a similar responsibility.

The chief operational officer is frequently regarded as the chief executive’s right hand, responsible with bringing the vision to life and overseeing how the organization will operate. The missing purpose connection is the ‘how.’ Wrappers of language and meaning around the goal it serves seem to attract an unending amount of energy. However, little thought is given to how to incorporate that purpose into the daily processes that allow everyone’s thoughts and behaviors.

Someone has to bring it to life in the block and tackle of everyday ‘how’. Saying ‘everyone’ is fluffy nonsense that just avoids the issues. Putting purpose into action is the opposite of the big picture the chief executive needs to take care of. Simply pushing it off to people and culture to ’embed’ won’t and can’t do the trick, and a new role will only serve to fragment the already jigsaw composition of leadership teams.

Check out my related post: What is a chief strategy officer?

Interesting reads:

https://www.dukece.com/insights/the-value-of-the-chief-purpose-officer/

https://news.yahoo.com/c-suite-job-future-chief-090024983.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katecooper/2021/01/28/meet-the-chief-purpose-officer/

https://www.axios.com/chief-purpose-office-corporate-responsibility-4d506abc-8868-46be-be35-878b230f7d8b.html

http://the-ceo-magazine.com/the-ceo-as-chief-purpose-officer

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/03/18/whats-a-chief-purpose-officer-and-why-should-you-hire-one/

https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/what-the-heck-is-a-chief-purpose-officer

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/leadership/you-need-a-chief-purpose-officer-but-its-not-who-you-think/

https://kindredmembers.com/insights/chief-impact-officer-chief-purpose-officer/

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