Organisational Backbone

An organisation’s backbone is made up of the essential elements that define it—including its purpose, values, vision, brand and story.

Just like a human backbone, an organisational backbone provides structure and support and gives flexibility and strength. As well as being an organisational asset, a strong backbone is a valuable leadership tool as it helps inform strategic decision-making and guides behaviour.

Clarity of backbone is also key to employee engagement. People want to work for an organisation which has a purpose that inspires them, that knows where it is heading, and knows what it values.

Catapult can work with you to develop all or some of your organisational backbone elements.

Backbone elements defined


Vision is the ambitious future the organisation is working toward, including clear bold goals.


Purpose is the reason why the organisation exists – the difference it wants to make in the world.


Values are the core beliefs that govern how the organisation goes about its work – with customers, with staff and with stakeholders.


Brand is what the organisation wants to be known for in the hearts and minds of customers and stakeholders.


Story is the folklore and geneology that defines how the organisation came to be what it is today.

Purpose work

Purpose is the reason why the organisation exists—the difference it wants to make in the world.

A purpose statement goes beyond describing what an organisation does. Rather, it succinctly and powerfully captures the value of this doing to customers. An organisation that is clear about its purpose can use this understanding to make decisions consistent with its purpose and to attract and retain staff who are “lit up” by the purpose.

We have worked with many organisations and teams to help clarify and articulate their purpose.

Values work

Every organisation has values. Many leaders recognise that making values explicit helps attract and retain the right people and promotes behaviours that help the organisation achieve its goals.

We have worked with many organisations to identify and articulate their core values. Just as importantly, we help leaders to embed the values so they are real and experienced.

What’s your organisation’s backbone and how strong is it?

Call us to talk about the state of your organisation’s backbone and what to do to make it strong and healthy.

Talk to us