What is The Pyramid of Purpose, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of The Pyramid of Purpose
The Pyramid of Purpose is a strategic tool that can be used to plan and effectively communicate a business strategy across all levels of an organization. Each level of the pyramid represents a different question about the strategy that an employee could ask: why the organization does things in a certain way, what needs to be done to implement the strategy, how should those tasks be completed, who is responsible for ensuring the tasks get done correctly? Like a pyramid, which starts at the top and works its way down, the answer to one question leads to the next.
Description of The Pyramid of Purpose
The four questions stated in the Pyramid of Purpose must be answered in order. When creating the pyramid, it is important to consider your audience. That will help to determine the information that is put into the pyramid.
Level 1: Why? The answer to this question lies in the mission statement of the organization. Said differently, the strategies that are created should all be created in service of fulfilling the mission of the company. The language that is used in this step should be abstract.
Level 2: What? This stage concretely defines what steps need to be done in order to carry out the mission of the organization. In other words, the organization should list out the goals that will further its progress towards making its mission into a reality. The goals that are created should be practical enough that they can be attained with a reasonable amount of effort, and progress toward attaining that goal should be able to be monitored. When a goal is reached, it should be noticed and celebrated.
Level 3: How? This stage lists the exact steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the goals identified in the “what?” stage. This process involves determining what specific actions will be taken and when, as well as the resources that are needed. The language used in this stage must be very detailed so that every employee knows exactly what they need to do to contribute to the organization’s mission.
Level 4: Who? Finally, in order to answer this question, the organization must identify who will be responsible for completing each task. If those people are not yet in the company, a plan must be developed to bring them into the organization, which involves determining where they will be recruited from and what kind of experience is needed to complete these tasks successfully.
Tools & Templates
All four levels in the Pyramid of Purpose originate from the Mission Statement, which can be used to support the creation of the pyramid.
upBOARD's Online Pyramid of Purpose Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Pyramid of Purpose techniques, upBOARD’s online Pyramid of Purpose tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, PEST Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategic Roadmap, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.