purpose architecture

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Purpose architecture encompasses all the business model elements associated with the purpose aspect of the business organization. Purpose is the organization's reason for being (see purpose aspect. This reason for being cannot be addressed in isolation, but is only meaningful in the context of the environment of the organization. The elements of purpose have an architecture unto themselves that is inextricably linked to the function, process, and structure elements and their architectures. These elements include --

  • Environment
    • Market -- where the business organization competes. This can be very flexible based on innovation and applying the competencies of the organization applied to new value propositions.
    • Competitors and industry -- any and all current and potential competitors. The non-traditional competitors are often the most threatening.
    • Stakeholders -- all of those entities that have a vested interest in the business organization. Owners, leaders, mangers, staff, community, society, governments, etc.

  • Purpose
    • Vision (Jim Collins' term)
      • Core ideology
        • values - essential and enduring tenants of the organziation. Timeless guiding principles.
        • purpose/passion - the organization's fundamental reason for being.
      • Envisioned future
        • achievements to be - lofty inspiring and guiding goals well beyond the existing planning cycles. BHAG's.
        • vivid descriptions - a picture of a better world because the organization pursues its purpose.
    • Identity -- The purpose as actually carried out by the organization is manifested in its identity. Identity includes who the members think they are as members of the organizational 'community"". Identity is intertwined with brand and image, both of which are crafted by the organization's behavior, but ultimately determined by what those outside of the organization say the organization is - what it stands for. The authenticity of the organization is a key factor in the formation of its identity.

The purpose elements have architectural aspects to be considered as part of the business design. A well formed purpose guides the decision making, enabling greater efficiencies, and inspires innovation. Alignment of the function, process, and structure architectures with the purpose maximizes the effectiveness of the organization in carrying out its mission.