Once the strategy is in place, it’s time to implement it. Often, however, a good and implementable strategy fails exactly here, in the Project Management Office. Measures drag, milestones are broken, the implementation status is reported as green although deep red is more in line with reality. Why is this so?

In today’s Western cultures, but especially in Germany, there is a noticeable shift towards the meaning behind work. New Work, Generation Y/Z, Agile – to list just a few buzzwords. The attraction of these topics arises above all from the subtle promise of being able to perform work in the future not only extrinsically but also intrinsically motivated. Purpose is the buzzword.

Everyone can think what he or she wants about the buzzword Purpose – but in the meantime science is increasingly proving what many of us know. When people want to do something of their own accord (intrinsically) instead of being forced to do it by others (extrinsically), they are more resilient, achieve more and reach goals faster. The level of human motivation is three times more strongly linked to intrinsic motives than to extrinsic ones.

This is actually a great thing that can also be used in a business context. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. A meaning or purpose cannot simply be passed on from one person to another like extrinsic motivators such as money. Intrinsic motivation comes from the attraction of an idea, an inner image or feeling that is being strived for. The problem is that the same idea or image does not have the same effect on everyone, nor does it resonate with everyone. The art is to use both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, finely tuned to the task at hand.

Purpose Driven Collaboration Concept combines exactly that. It is a goal corridor whose context allows for the promotion of intrinsic motivation and the setting of framework conditions with finely tuned extrinsic incentives, thus framing the context. Because: whoever has a “what for” can tolerate almost any “how”. And those who know the territory can navigate better.

To implement strategic goals effectively and efficiently, the motivation of each employee must be ignited. The start-up phase of a project is crucial here; the course towards project success or torment is set early on. Depending on the project and the framework conditions, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are combined situationally to ignite the full potential of a dedicated team. The service “Design of High-Performance Teams” describes in detail how this can work. The important thing is: the sense and purpose of the project, stage and breakthrough goals of the workstreams, as well as the linking of these with daily activities must be recognisable. The employees should be able to orient themselves, but not be restricted in their options for action. Every staff member must be able to answer the following question for him- or herself: Will what I am doing take me further in the direction of our goal? Does what I am doing make sense?

Figure 1: Intelligent combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in the context of strategy development


Once the high-performance team has been initiated and the purpose has been captured, the organisation-wide (or project-wide) transparency and open communication of the strategic goals and their purpose takes place. In order for real purpose coupling to take place, opportunities and consequences must be discussed in the case of achieving or failing to achieve the goals. At the same time, the influence and relevance of each must also be highlighted. Using Objective & Key Results (OKR), a strategy development method that supports self-organisation and self-goal setting, the strategy is defined and operationalised on a rolling basis. In addition to self-goal setting and the link to purpose, OKR offers several other positive side effects. Key players in the project and rising stars are recognised, the degree of tension of the goals is increased by the employees themselves and an organisational transactive learning process is initiated.

Figure 2: Rapid, sense-driven adaptation with short-cycle strategy development


After the “what for” is known and the orientation in the territory is created, the consistent implementation of the strategic goals takes place in day-to-day business, tracked on the one hand by the self-imposed goals of the employees and on the other hand by degrees of hardness and high-frequency deviation management. Through self-goal setting and transparent, public performance tracking, teams and sub-teams organise themselves. A clearly structured communication landscape ensures the flow of information in the project. Frameworks that are useful for this are Scrum, Kanban and Shopfloor Management.

Figure 3: Transparent alignment, activities and structures allow self-organisation

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Markus Fost, MBA, is an expert in e-commerce, online business models and digital transformation, with broad experience in the fields of strategy, organisation, corporate finance and operational restructuring.

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Markus Fost

Managing Partner
Markus Fost, MBA, is an expert in e-commerce, online business models and digital transformation, with broad experience in the fields of strategy, organisation, corporate finance and operational restructuring.

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