- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

Purpose kidnapped?

To continue on the theme of Purpose…after yesterday’s: Purpose is always in the basement [1]


Suddenly purpose is back.

We are told that Millennials want purpose. Which may be true. As much as many other non-Millennials. I wish we could stop talking about Millennials as if they were a particular type of android.

When used in business, purpose usually means social purpose. Social purpose is a noble aim which could be easily hijacked and absorbed into mainstream management speak with little meaning.

Maria Hengeveld describes, very elegantly, her presence at a conference in which she was supposed to write on the back of her badge ‘her purpose’. She also criticised ‘Davos style platitudes’ and how purpose could become a political correct device. See her piece here [2].

I suppose in the same way ‘social corporate responsibility’ is not in many, terribly responsible places.

In a recent contract we have been asked to state our social corporate responsibility activities.  My team did a bit of head scratching . We occasionally get requests from Procurement Departments, particularly of large clients, to describe our ethical source of materials. It is clear that nobody in those departments has bothered to understand our consulting business because I don’t think they mean the source of our paperclips, or toners for our printers. I think.

We call ourselves (with pride) ‘organization architects’ and I often get emails inviting me to Grand Designs type of events or greenfields with planning permissions. No, we don’t build houses, but their algorithm does not know. Tick, tick, tick

Will purpose become a new box to tick?

PWC has a ‘Chief Purpose Officer’. That is a symptom of commoditisation. Do we need Chief Ethics Officers, Chief Customer Officers, Chief Kindness Officers, Chief Values  Officers?

Business loves institutionalisation. It thinks that giving a structure and a title solves any problems.

I support any of those things provided that their goal is to self-destroy in a year or two. Proving that they are not needed anymore.

Let’s not have purpose hijacked as well .  ‘Melted in the air’?


For more insights and thought-provoking discussion WATCH our free on demand webinars led by Dr Leandro Herrero and his team of organization architects. 


‘A Better Way’ Series [3]

This series explores the future of organization life. We will explain how the 3 Pillars of The Chalfont Project’s Organizational Architecture – smart organizational design, large scale behavioural and cultural change and collective leadership – work together to create a “Better Way” for organizations to flourish in the post-COVID world.


Feed Forward Webinar Series [4]

In this series, Dr Leandro Herrero and his team of Organization Architects debunk uncontested assumptions and uncover the alternatives, whilst considering why this is even more relevant today in the current exceptional environment.


Dr Leandro Herrero is the CEO and Chief Organization Architect of The Chalfont Project [5], an international firm of organizational architects. He is the pioneer of Viral Change,  [6]a people Mobilizing Platform, a methodology that delivers large scale behavioural and cultural change in organizations, which creates lasting capacity for changeability.
Dr Herrero is also an Executive Fellow at the Centre for the Future of Organization, Drucker School of Management. An international speaker, Dr Herrero is regularly invited to speak at global conferences and Corporate events – to invite Dr Herrero to your event you can find out more here: Speaking Bureau [7] or contact us directly at: The Chalfont Project. [8]