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Innovation and Best Practice
for Business Success

Established 1967

Designing the Purposeful Organization

Designing the Purposeful Organization

How to Inspire Business Performance Beyond Boundaries

Clive Wilson


Inspire business performance and deliver maximum value by aligning people to a compelling business purpose.

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About the book

Globalization, competition and recession have created an overwhelming pressure on organizations to deliver growth. This has often resulted in tough performance targets being pushed down the line. Hard-hitting management may deliver short-term results but in the longer term key people burn out or leave, and business performance falls back. Designing the Purposeful Organization explains how to implement a more enlightened and authentic leadership style that aligns people's strengths to the delivery of a compelling future. It draws on a unique framework that helps leaders manage the eight elements essential for high performance: purpose, vision, engagement, structure, character, results, success and talent. It moves beyond the boundaries of transactional performance (pay me X and I'll deliver Y) to a purpose-centred performance that releases talent, creativity and engagement. It features case studies from Google, Whole Foods Market, the NHS and the London 2012 Olympics and is ideal for practitioners in organization development, senior HR managers and business leaders. This book demonstrates how business performance can be inspired beyond boundaries by aligning people to a compelling purpose.

Table Of Contents

    • Chapter - 00: Introduction: Setting the scene;
    • Chapter - 01: The power of a compelling purpose;
    • Chapter - 02: Clarity of vision;
    • Chapter - 03: Engaging to create a learning ecosystem;
    • Chapter - 04: Building structures to deliver;
    • Chapter - 05: Strength of character;
    • Chapter - 06: Results to track purposeful progress;
    • Chapter - 07: The secret of success;
    • Chapter - 08: Liberating our talents;
    • Chapter - 09: A call to action


I've spent many very enjoyable hours with Clive, discussing people, their talent, their lives and their work and I've always been impressed by his passion for the inseparable interrelationship of these. In this book, Clive describes the inseparable nature of different aspects of organizations and the people who work in them. He describes the contrasting but complementary perspectives of head and heart and takes us on a series of journeys from the conceptual to the practical. Great examples and metaphors help ground the learning (the fractal geometry of cellular development is a particular favourite - yes, really). It's a book that is always interesting and always useful with exercises and techniques to support your organization development journey. For me, the book's greatest gift is to guide the reader to ask the most powerful questions of their organization and themselves.
Dave Rippon, ValueStrengths (formerly Head of Organisation Development, Sunderland City Council)

The guidance on how to help an organization get to the 'why' of its existence and be able to synergize the perspectives of multiple stakeholder views into an integrated purpose is inspirational [...] This book is a direct reflection of the calibre of expertise, insight and intensity that Clive and the Primeast team bring to their professional work.
Kelly Goff, Global Organizational Effectiveness Director at Raytheon

This superb book delivers a magnitude of relevant information on a timely topic and provides a roadmap to understanding how to inspire business performance beyond boundaries. As Clive says,'Purposeful people make purposeful organizations, families, communities and nations'. I was instantly smitten by the expertise and insightful information as well as the richness of the tools, activities, case studies and resources. Anyone charged with leading change organizations will find the information relevant and useful. Anyone who truly wants to make a difference in their workplace or community will find the information inspiring.
Debbie Richards, President, Creative Interactive Ideas and President 2013 ASTD Houston

If you are looking to gain some energy and focus in pulling together a strategy or change management plan for your department or business, then picking up this book would be a good start. What you will gain is a professional review of over 40 years of insight in the success that some organisations have achieved by clearly defining their purpose and vision for their business.

The tricky part in any strategy is understanding of how you get from purpose to performance. This book makes some simple definition of steps ensuring that you have a framework to follow. Perhaps the best recommendation I can offer is that if like me you allow yourself your guilty pleasure of marking and highlighting sections of management books with pen and post in notes then you will be pleased to leave it suitably defaced and plastered with tabs.
Alex Spence, Group HR Director, Cape

Wilson is to be commended on his brilliant use of reader-friendly devices that include directly relevant mini-case studies, implementation activities, and sets of '10 Questions' that serve as assessments of purpose, vision, engagement, structure, character, results, success, and talent. ...Provides just about everything that you and your colleagues need to 'inspire business performance beyond boundaries.
Robert Morris, bobmorris.biz

Book Details

  • EAN: 9780749472207
  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd February 2015
  • Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156
  • 256 pages

About the Author

Clive Wilson is a board director at Primeast, a UK-based consultancy that has facilitated purposeful leadership, organisational effectiveness and high-performance teamwork since 1987. Primeast works internationally with a focus on the oil and gas, power, pharmaceutical and technology sectors as well as with change agents and social entrepreneurs. Clive is a Fellow and Tutor for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow and Ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute. In recent years, with his passion for purposeful change, he has facilitated workshops on strategic alignment and talent leadership in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Australia.

Clive Wilson

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