Boards provide critical guidance and support at every stage of a company’s life. The traditional orientation of a Board, however, is to focus on performance and growth to drive shareholder value. While these are worthy objectives, they represent outputs, not causes. The inspiration, alignment, and resiliency required for organizational success come from a sense of purpose.
Purpose is the impact the company aims to have on the world.
For startups, the Board can help articulate a purpose that is expansive and unique, connected ideally with a level-one problem, directing it toward exponential growth. For mature companies, Boards can help align purpose with clear objectives and measures, or leverage purpose during a crisis to catalyze resiliency, responsiveness, innovation, and teamwork. Most importantly, a Board must proof-test purpose with reality, holding the CEO accountable for operationalizing business strategies that bring purpose to life and ensure the company lives its truth. Total impact metrics are so crucial.
Here is an easy-to-use set of 4 templates illustrating Boards jobs-to-be-done in different life stages/situations.