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Company Purpose
Employee Experience Research & Strategy

Aussie retail icon Dymocks turns to purpose-driven strategy to stand out in the new world of books.


Project Context

Ne-Lo were initially engaged by Dymocks five months into the tenure of MD, Mark Newman. While there had been a series of 3-year strategic plans, a brand strategy and a recent strategic review, there was a pressing need to tackle three specific challenges:


Align on and define a clear company purpose to build focus and alignment around key strategic initiatives.


Better utilise employee insights and engagement to build buy-in and awareness of the strategic direction of the company.


Embed the Dymocks company purpose in strategic decision making to avoid it being just another document.


The Ne-Lo team first engaged the entire head office team in a full day offsite workshop which provided the platform for everyone to have input into clarifying the Dymocks Purpose. The insights from the day were then refined across a series of executive team workshops to develop the Purpose Framework, consisting of ‘Shared Belief’, ‘Vision’, ‘Mission’ and ‘Values’. The framework was then shared with the Dymocks board, employees and franchisees for input before being further refined and used to develop a suite of shareable assets to keep it front of mind across the organisation and to guide development of the company’s 3 year strategic plan.

One year on from the initial project, Dymocks engaged Ne-Lo to facilitate an annual strategic review to ensure the company purpose was being effective in moving them towards being a purpose-driven organisation. In partnership with decision-making science consultancy, Catalyze APAC, we facilitated a workshop to review progress against all Dymocks’ strategic pillars, identified the potential options for focus in the coming year and aligned the Dymocks team on the criteria through which they would decide which strategic option to focus on. We ensured that the company purpose was appropriately represented in the criteria and facilitated the process of clarifying the key strategic actions for the coming year.


Through the partnership to date, Dymocks have gone from having a series of disconnected strategic documents and an unclear, broad strategic focus, to clarifying their purpose, sharing it across the organisation and embedding it into a 3 year strategic plan that is being effectively implemented by an executive team that is aligned and focused. Moreover, employees across the organisation have had input and feel more connected to the strategic direction of the company.

<span class="left-edge"> “Every stage of the process of clarifying our purpose made us feel we were in control of the journey, but provided clear, succinct input and advice to help us get there.” – Mark Newman, MD of Dymocks Books <span />