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Strive to accomplish a noble purpose

Trying to accomplish a noble purpose is a powerful way to energize the people in an organization to excel against competitors. It is also a way to attract a more committed, more passionate, and more capable group of employees.

Many believe that "history has shown that those individuals, and companies, who have placed their 'Noble Purpose' above profits and simple business growth, have excelled and are the leaders of industry."

Charles Handy argues in The Hungry Spirit (1997) that committed people generally demonstrate a level of motivation far beyond anything one is likely to see in the ordinary business world. "They know there are more important things than money," states Handy.

According to Kleiner, Roth and Kruschwitz, "nobility is not something to tackle lightly. For mainstream companies and start-ups alike, it is a difficult path-and once entered publicly, it cannot be easily abandoned."

What is a noble purpose? Many businesses and organizations have purposes that are modest yet noble. A community hospital that strives to improve health care is serving a noble purpose. A fast food restaurant is not trying to sell unhealthy, fattening food, rather the original idea was to provide good tasting food quickly and at an affordable price. We might disagree, but that seems like a noble purpose. All in all, whether a purpose is classified as "noble" or not is somewhat dependent upon the values and perceptions of the person evaluating the organization's purpose.

from Art Kleiner, George Roth, Nina Kruschwitz, "Should a Company Have a Noble Purpose?" http://www.conference-board.org/articles/atb_article.cfm?id=53




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