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The Purpose Effect

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The Purpose Effect

Building Meaning in Yourself, Your Role, and Your Organization

Figure 1 Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Purpose-driven firms put principles ahead of profits; still, being purpose-driven is good for business

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Dan Pontefract, author of Flat Army, explains how companies can establish meaningful goals, provide energized workplaces, and contribute to their communities and society. Such “purpose-driven” firms put principles ahead of profits, but they find in the long run that being purpose-driven is good for business. Pontefract shows firms how to reach a meaningful “sweet spot” where three important roles come together: each employee’s “personal sense of purpose,” the company’s purpose and the role-based purpose employees feel when their jobs align with their priorities and beliefs. Those who seek a sense of direction for their organizations and business students will benefit from this detailed, practical, inspirational book.


Behind the Scenes Making Sausage

Johnsonville Sausage LLC, headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, produces meatballs, sausages and bratwurst. It employs 1,500 people it refers to as “team members.” It sells more than $1 billion in meat products annually.

In 2015, a fire destroyed Johnsonville’s plant in nearby Watertown. One hundred Johnsonville members had no place to go to work and nothing to do. Johnsonville’s management decided to keep paying them their full salaries. In return, it asked its members to volunteer for community work for 20 hours each week and to spend another 20 hours each week on self-education. These activities occupied its Watertown workers for nearly a year until a new plant opened.

Johnsonville Sausage has been a special place to work ever since Ralph C. Stayer founded the company in 1945. Its “culture statement” says that Johnsonville’s goal is to “become the best company in the world,” something it characterizes as a “moral responsibility.” The firm serves “the best interest” of its stakeholders and the “personal growth” of its members. Johnsonville’s intranet publishes the “personal development commitments” of each member...

About the Author

Dan Pontefract is “chief envisioner” of TELUS Transformation Office, a consulting firm that helps organizations enhance their corporate culture and collaboration practices. He also wrote the bestseller Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization.

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