A recent article in Harvard Business Review found that those companies with purpose-clarity had better financial results. We believe this is because it is easier for internal teams to know what they should be focusing on but also for ‘customers’ to understand your proposition. A purpose led approach is something we believe in strongly at The Customer Closeness Company and we don’t believe it should be limited to the private sector.
Last year we worked with a leading grammar school to develop a purpose, vison and values that would help drive future success. The process, which involved over 80 stakeholders, was designed to build on the existing rich DNA of the school while also considering the direction of travel that parents, pupils and staff wanted from the school in the future.
Very kindly the head teacher has said ‘that this was one of the most important pieces of work that the school did in 2016’. In his own words here are three of the benefits that they have gained from having a distinctive purpose and vision.
Decision-making: Senior Team and Governor level decision making is now regularly informed and steered by our vision and values. For example, a discussion about Sixth Form uniform became focussed once we reminded ourselves that we are here to ‘free girls to be themselves’. A decision was then easily made.
Communication: A key objective was for our vision, values and culture to inform all aspects of the design and construction of our new website. This was important for several reasons, including for recruitment of staff, given there is a national teacher recruitment crisis. Candidates at interview have often specifically mentioned that they were attracted by our school’s vision and culture, as reflected by our website, and comment on how closely it reflects reality once they are in our school.
3. Appeal: We hold periodic Open Mornings and Evenings for prospective students and parents and I have found that there is particular interest in what we believe in as a school. Working with Anna and Charlotte has given us the language to do justice to what is an attractive set of values that drives what we do.
Purpose and vision - an important tool to get closer to your internal and external customers.