02 December 2020

What Purpose For 60 Years Gives You | Is Purpose Working Podcast Episode 4

Dani Johnson
Co-founder & Principal Analyst

TL;DR

  • This is the fourth episode of our podcast season: Is Purpose Working?
  • In this episode Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr from RedThread, and Chris Pirie from LITNW, talk about what makes Medtronic’s conscious sense of Purpose even more interesting than its heritage and on-going affirmation
  • We learn how, 60 years after being defined, it’s a Purpose statement that continues to serve as an ethical framework and inspirational goal for all 90,000-plus employees around the world
  • A special thanks to our season Sponsor, NovoEd for their support!

Listen

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Guest

Jeff Orlando, CLO of Medtronic

Details

As we dig deeper into answering our question ‘Is Purpose Working?’ we find that while Purpose is a very new concept for many, having a conscious organizational Purpose has been BAU for some corporations for decades. This week we meet one, which had it written down in 1960, and which specifically states that the company’s” first and foremost priority” is to contribute to human welfare. The company in question is $30bn, Ireland and Minnesota-headquartered Medtronic, the world's largest medical technology company and creator of the world’s first battery-operated pacemaker. And we also learn how, 60 years after being defined, it’s a Purpose statement that continues to serve as an ethical framework and inspirational goal for all 90,000-plus employees around the world. Explaining all this for us is the company’s Vice President, Global Learning and Leadership, Jeff Orlando. Based in Philadelphia, Jeff explains just how new he is in post—he joined the very week the company had to move into Lockdown, in March—but also how quickly he’s become part of the Medtronic family.

In this fourth conversation in our season Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr from RedThread, and Chris Pirie from LITNW, talk about what makes Medtronic’s conscious sense of Purpose even more interesting than its heritage and on-going affirmation (something we get into big time in the conversation) is that it’s marked by ritual. In 1974, the company introduced a special in-house “mission and medallion ceremony” that’s now held many times a year at facilities all over the world; an employee gets to receive the medallion as a reminder of the honor and responsibility they have in fulfilling our mission. Acting as a deliberately symbolic way of bringing new employees together behind the company’s defined common purpose, could rituals like this be something other CEOs pursuing Purpose be looking at doing too? Should your Purpose statement really act like the Constitution for you over time? It’s a fascinating question—and one bound to come up at the special ‘Is Purpose Working?’ webinar early in 2021, our live, online gated experience where we will debate all the Learnings from Season 7 that have come through. With inputs including today’s great discussion with Jeff.

This podcast interview covers topics like:

  • A shared podcast participant history (Deloitte)
  • How he sees L&D’s contribution is creating organisational capability to win in the market
  • How companies with a defined Purpose seem to have so much passion about it
  • The idea all employees are really only ever ‘stewards’ of the Mission (the Medtronic Purpose)
  • How L&D has an important place in creating the space and time for the ceremonies that can anchor your Purpose work
  • How HR accepts the Mission is its Mission, too—but it still needs to help the company meet immediate targets

Resources

Webinar

This season will culminate in a live online gated experience (a webcast) where we'll review and debate what we've learned. Seats are limited. Secure your place today, over at www.novoed.com/purpose.

Partner

We're also thrilled to be partnering with Chris Pirie, CEO of Learning Futures Group and voice of the Learning Is the New Work podcast. Check them both out.

Season Sponsor

Global enterprises rely on its collaborative online learning platform to build high-value capabilities that result in real impact, with its customers working to deliver powerful, engaging learning that activates deep skill development, from leadership to design thinking and digital transformation, as well as driving measurable business outcomes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani Johnson

Dani is Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. She has spent the majority of her career writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on human capital practices and technology. Her ideas can be found in publications such as Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds an MBA and an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU.