Organizing with Purpose Conference Session:

Using Role Identity to Design for Purpose

Cole Jackson

Peer Workshop

Bios

Cole Jackson

Cole is a Senior Manager with Kates Kesler Organization Consulting, part of Accenture, based in Houston, TX. He helps executive clients across multiple industries develop and implement new operating models that enable them to achieve their strategic objectives. Cole holds an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University and a BS in industrial engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Designing a purpose-driven organization requires balancing shared and individual identity. This interactive session will introduce new ways to think about and design for roles with a unique focus on roles as drivers of individual and organizational purpose.

Description:

Designing a purpose-driven organization requires balancing shared and individual identity. One central task is to align individual behavior with group goals across the central theme of purpose. As our world continues to emphasize and reward purpose-driven organizations, it is increasingly important to intentionally design the relationship between the individual and the collective. This is mediated through role identity. Organizational roles are often confused with jobs. Jobs refer to tasks, whereas roles cover the goals, values, beliefs, norms, interaction styles, and time horizons associated with the tasks. We can have one job and many roles. For instance, an investment banker could be a mentor, a dealmaker, an activist, and a problem solver all on the same day. Each role creates a unique identity that exists in relationship to others in the organization and to the organization as a whole. Our role identities mediate our behavior and decision-making at both the individual and group levels. This interactive session will introduce new ways to think about and design for roles with a unique focus on roles as drivers of individual and organizational purpose. It will introduce the concept of role identity and offer three models through which to leverage role identity in Organization Design. We will also share a tool for raising awareness of role identity in an organization.

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