Purpose beyond Profit

In today’s technology driven, rapidly evolving economy, successful companies are built not from the ground up, but from the purpose up.

 

Starting and surviving in today’s economy is hard, but the companies that figure it out have something in common: the pursuit of purpose, alongside the pursuit of profit. A purpose mobilises people in a way that pursuing profits alone never will.

A business without purpose manages people and resources, while an business with purpose mobilises people and resources. Purpose is a key ingredient for a strong, sustainable, scalable business culture. It’s an unseen-yet-ever-present element that drives a business. It can be a strategic starting point, a product differentiator, and an organic attractor of users and customers.

An easy and fun way to get to your business’ purpose is to play a game. Let’s call it the impact game.

On a piece of paper write down what your business does. Then ask the question, what impact does that have on my clients’ needs, problems or challenges and write it down. Then again ask what is the impact of that impact on your clients?  Go through this question about 5 times. If you’ve been honest in your questions and answers you should have the purpose statement of your business clear and concise in front of you.  Play this game with your business partner, your staff or even your children.

Once you’ve articulated your purpose, be prepared to walk the talk. If it’s not real or believable, it will inspire cynicism rather than trust. Make sure every person in the business is truly committed to it, and align it with performance metrics and rewards.

Ultimately, a shared purpose should create strategic clarity. It allows you to focus on what really matters – and in the process boost productivity, performance, loyalty and the bottom line.

 
GETTING INTO ACTION

So how do you go about to clarify your business purpose?  Here are some practical steps:

1) Go around in your business and ask you employees to tell you what the business' purpose is.  This will give you a good indication of the common understanding, be it right or wrong, this will give you a good starting point.

2) Play the impact game as described above and get to the bottom of the impact you have on your clients. Play it with your employees, your spouse, your friends.  Different perspectives can be helping in unlocking a deeper purpose.

3) Get someone to help you to unlock the true purpose of your business. A session with a business coach will help you to get clarity on the purpose and support in implementation.  Contact us if you need to get in touch with a reliable business coach, we can refer you.