page title icon Using Purpose to Transform Your Business

A Purpose-Driven Approach to Business Transformation

The topic of purpose is everywhere these days. People are talking about purpose. As passionate advocates, we’re delighted to see all the interest. Yet we’ve observed that many organizations are merely scratching the surface. They’re missing the full potential of the nature of purpose that can transform.

Transform your organization with purpose.

This episode will feature Diane discussing the content of her new book, ADAPT.

Assess – The journey starts and ends with external and internal assessments in an unending loop. Your ability to succeed is grounded in your ability to listen and discover.

Define – The definition phase is a company’s moment of truth. Do you have a purpose statement, a campaign concept, or a holistic approach to leading with purpose within your company?

Amplify – This section addresses the elephant in the room- “no one remembers my purpose.” It is the planful guide to authentically aligning stakeholders and believably communicating your purpose story.

Perform – Performance is easily the most debated topic amongst purpose influencers, challengers, and thought leaders. We review the growing body of research and give you practical next steps.

Transcend – Purpose is a competitive advantage – achieved and sustained through the very highest level of purpose consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to stakeholders, and to transformative outcomes.

Diane Primo was born in St. Louis, Mo, and raised on the East Coast with short stints in Ottawa, Canada, and Cambridge, England, before moving to Chicago, IL, for High School. She was raised by a strong-willed single mother of four children. Diane was the baby girl and sister to one younger brother. Her mother divorced and moved to a new city when she was quite young, so she really has no memory of a father in the household or really in her life. Education, female empowerment, and a pioneering spirit were always role models in the environment that shaped Diane’s values, her educational path, and her career. Largely educated in all-girl schools, she pursued a college education at Smith college, one of the pioneers in female higher education. At the time, it was known as one of the Seven sister schools, the female counterparts to the male-dominated ivy league schools. Diane credits Smith with honing her critical thinking skills and fearlessness. She later went on to Harvard Business School, where she followed her passion for business, marketing, and innovation. Today, as founder of Purpose Brand, Diane builds on a groundbreaking 30-year career leading some of the top marketing organizations in the country. She served as general manager at Quaker Oats, president of product management at Ameritech and SBC (currently AT&T), chief marketing officer of CDW, and CEO of a Kleiner Perkins-backed e-commerce startup in the home services sector. Her pioneering spirit is deeply rooted in everything she does. She has always married this with her desire to champion the underdog–having witnessed firsthand the inequities that women, people of color, and those below the poverty line endure.  When asked about her legacy, she refers to her children, each a gift, a challenge, and her greatest venture.  In addition, the  Center for Homeless Families that her family founded is the largest of its kind in Illinois. Like most big cities across the USA, Chicago is faced with ongoing challenges. She is proud to help the city and be a resident. Her husband and two of her children reside there as well. Her eldest is pursuing his artistic career in LA, California. Diane is the author of the new book, Adapt: Scaling Purpose in a Divisive World, which represents the most up-to-date, cutting-edge thinking on corporate purpose as both a framework for mastering corporate purpose and a way to achieve a more resilient and prosperous business.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @DianePrimo get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“How to use a business, use what you are best at doing.” – Click to Tweet

“Purpose does make your company more adaptable, more agile, more resilient. It’s about how you sustain your business for the long term. Both financially and having non-financially metrics.” – Click to Tweet

“Adapt itself is a reflection of how you develop purpose and really actualize it in your company.” – Click to Tweet

“The definition phase isn’t really about the statement, it’s about creating an operational model that works within the company for execution and implementation and operation of your business.” – Click to Tweet

“Storytelling for any business is fundamental to how you communicate to audiences. You need to get really clear on what the story is around your purpose so people can understand it.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t have a model that you can’t communicate, or people will not understand what it means or what to do with it.” – Click to Tweet

“Purpose is really worthless unless you’re really tracking and measuring your performance.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t be a purpose-led business without making money because it enables you to continue to do those great things.” – Click to Tweet

“You cannot operationalize purpose without people.” – Click to Tweet

“Culture is moving at the speed of light.” – Click to Tweet

“One thing that you can be certain of is that there is uncertainty.” – Click to Tweet

“Business is fundamentally about getting better over time.” – Click to Tweet

“If you’re doing this right, your values bring your purpose to life.” – Click to Tweet

“Lead with your purpose and your values need to reflect that.” – Click to Tweet

“If you don’t have an employee plan, you don’t have a plan.” – Click to Tweet

“When people are going up against and they’re out of alignment with their employees’ purpose and values they’re actually getting pushed back and people are walking out.” – Click to Tweet

“Purpose is not done at the top, it is amplified through the company where all leaders embrace it.” – Click to Tweet

Advice for others

Be in alignment with myself and what I want to do from a business perspective.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Losing focus.

Best Leadership Advice

Support someone else. Advance someone else.

Secrets to Success / Tools

Emotional IQ.

Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take

Diane’s website:

Diane’s email:

Diane’s book: ADAPT: Scaling Purpose in a Divisive World 

Diane’s Twitter:

Diane’s LinkedIn:

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Check out other episodes on using purpose to transform your business:

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