Purposeful Pipe Dreams

By: Melissa Mead 


Are you hiring new employees?  Are you on the hunt for someone to employ you?  

Falling into that slump of searching for the next best thing can make us feel a little vain, but mostly hopeful.  We always want better than what we have, and it’s only natural, especially when we’re discussing employment and the purpose behind it.

The organization, Imperative has brilliantly assembled what they refer to as the “Purpose Index.”  What is it and what does it measure, exactly?  It analyzes your organization on three levels:


Culture & Structure


Let’s break it down.  Picture a pyramid that is split into 3 sections.  The top slice is your organization’s “Mission.”  It is your primary purpose -- your bread and butter.  It also includes your people’s perception of that purpose.  A few questions to ask yourself and your cohorts when analyzing yourselves might be: 

Is your purpose aligned?

Is is articulate enough?

Are your people envisioning their organization as one that is, in fact, purpose-driven? 

The middle slice of the pyramid is your organization’s “Structure & Culture.”  This is where the heart and health of your leadership, process, and systems, lives and breathes.  When evaluating your organization’s structure and culture, keep an eye out for gaps in fulfillment and competencies for employment.  Pinpoint areas where it would be beneficial to invest, whether it’s geographically, internally, or functionally.  Lastly, determine what is needed to fix problems.  

The base and bottom slice of the pyramid is the “People.”  Your team!  They are the ones you have, as well as the ones you want to continue to hire.  By uncovering the work orientation of your employees (or team members) we will be better able to determine our target hire profile for key roles.  This way, we know who to hire next, or what exactly we’re looking for.  Examining our current employees’ work orientation also allows us to get a hold on what a purpose-oriented benchmark employee looks like.  It provides us with a pretty clear-cut comparison of those who exceed our expectations, and those who might need to do a little more work on the purpose home-front.  

Long story short, by using Imperative’s Purpose index, we don’t have to simply resort to narcissistically fantasize about having the purpose-oriented organization, workplace, and employees that we’ve always dreamed of.  We can, in turn, better analyze what we have, and move towards what we want!