Service Thinking: Purpose

Service Thinking > Guidance > Purpose

Guidance Notes

Teams and Organisations should have a clear and well understood purpose that defines their scope and responsibilities.

This purpose should:

  1. Describe the Customer the Team or Organisation serves and the Customer Need that is addressed.
  2. Cover end to end responsibility for addressing the Customer Need, including Innovation, Change and Run
  3. Be accurate – describing everything the Team or Organisation does.
  4. Be clearly differentiated, with the aim to minimise the overlap and gaps between Teams or Organisations within a parent Organisation.
  5. Be defined in a consistent way to other Organisations within a given context (overarching Organisation).
  6. Be aligned to and fit within the purpose of any parent Organisation.
  7. Be agreed with all key stakeholders.
  8. Be understood by everyone that is involved in delivering or has any other relationship with the Team or Organisation.

Please provide questions and feedback via replies below.

Further Notes

The following are some of the topics we plan to publish further topics on:

  • The correlation between clarity of purpose and business performance
  • How clarity on purpose unlocks Intrinsic Motivation
  • The value of customer centricity and focusing on Customer Needs
  • Examples of common purpose types - Service, Product and Outcome organisations
  • Example structures for purpose statements, and examples of good purposes
  • How purposes unlock organisational design, and how purposes (and organisations) can nest and be decomposed
  • How purposes are set and agreed within an wider organisation, and how they can evolve over time
  • Example workshops for helping your understand your purpose

Please set us know via a reply below if there’s any of these further notes you’d like us to prioritise, if there’s anything you think we’ve missed, or just to let us know your thoughts.

Further Reading

Don’t take our word for it. If you’re interested in going deeper and exploring more, The Index has community curated lists of further reading, including on Organisational Purposes.