The three main organizational drivers

Chris Edmunds at posted this fascinating piece on the Three Main Organizational drivers that every leader should read and study further. The concept essentially highlights that every organization’s plan, decisions, and actions indicate if they are driven by power, profit, or purpose. 

Here’s a description of each type of company: 

Power Driven:

A company that is primarily power-driven

● seeks to be a standard-setter, a “big player” in their industry that others must work with to gain a foothold in their marketplace.

● Seeks to make profits, but their primary actions are designed to increase their influence, market share, and breadth.

● Exhibits behavior that can be seen as self-serving and arrogant.

Based on these criteria, I see Microsoft as primarily a power-driven company. (Full disclosure: I’m running Microsoft 365 on my Macs & iPad. I’m as guilty as any other Microsoft product user for helping them extend their power.)


A primarily profit-driven company:

● seeks to create organizational wealth, first and foremost.

● Analyzes potential products, services, and markets carefully to identify the most profitable avenues, then pursue those avenues for as long as the profits meet expectations.

● Exhibits behavior that can be seen as self-serving and manipulative.

● Are known to take advantage of existing rules and laws to create profits.

Based on these criteria, I see pharmaceutical companies as primarily profit-driven. (Full disclosure: I’m a big believer in Western medicine. I take prescription medications daily to keep my heart healthy and my knees working smoothly.)


A primarily purpose-driven company:

● seeks to engage employees and customers in helping the organization’s service vision to become a reality.

● Often promote social responsibility and demonstrate service to their communities regularly.

● Employees typically are very vocal about their organization’s purpose and community benefit.

Chris Edmunds — The Three Main Organizational Drivers

What kind of organization is yours? I don’t think there are right answers here, but people usually think that a purpose-driven company usually comes out ahead of the pack. But not all purpose-driven companies can profit if all they focus on is to fulfill their purpose. They have to consider both power and profit in equal measure should they not wish their employees to raise skinny kids.

Of course, the right ratio of power, profit, and purpose is critical to success. Understanding the primary focus helps leaders to know where their companies and work towards establishing the right balance. Now, that doesn’t mean it has to be a 33-33-33% split. It could be different and influenced by it’s mission, vision, and the most significant priority they would like to achieve right now.

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