Goals, strategies, and tactics all change, but your purpose should stay the same. Today we’re going over the second component of your company ideology, and that’s your company’s purpose. Why does your company exist, beyond wanting to make money? Why is this important? We’ll find out.
Here’s the podcast episode:
Or if you’d rather watch the video:
Continuing on from our previous episode on defining your company’s ideology, we’re going to move into the second part: purpose.
What Is Your Purpose
Your Purpose is NOT Your Goals
There are two parts to your company ideology: your core values and your purpose.
Many people confuse the purpose with the goals, but a real purpose should be able to stand the test of time. It may be even last a hundred years, or more.
Disney’s Future Streaming Platform
Disney is a great example of this. Disney is a 95-year-old company and their purpose is to make people happy. It’s pretty succinct and to the point, isn’t it?
How you choose to act on your purpose may change, but your purpose itself should not. So if your purpose is clear to you, then business decisions become easier.
Consider Disney and their goal is to make people happy. Business partners that they choose and other business decisions, like creating their own content streaming platform and pulling their content out of Netflix, make a lot more sense when you tie their values and their purpose together.
Their purpose is that they want to make people happy. The value is control over the Disney magic. So to continue making people happy and to continue with their value of controlling the Disney magic, making their own content streaming platform just makes sense.
When your purpose is clear and it’s communicated effectively throughout all of your marketing and your sales materials, then your customers aren’t confused about your decisions either.
Again, with the Disney example. Disney wants to make people happy. So when they started building theme parks, it wasn’t really all that confusing. Sure, they were capitalizing on all these great and wonderful characters that they had made, but it made sense. It was not confusing to anyone. Whereas if Hewlett-Packard suddenly started making toys, that would be confusing and pretty suspicious.
Ask Yourself Why
If you’re having trouble with your purpose, you want to start with a service or a product that you offer, and then ask why. Why is that service important? Why is that product important?
Yes, you want to make money. That’s true. But most businesses still have an underlying purpose. They want to provide something of value in exchange for money. It’s an honest need for many of us.
Another question you can ask yourself is how your company is drawing the best out of people. That’s what the purpose revolves around. If you didn’t need to work, what would motivate you to continue running and growing your business? What would continue to motivate you to work within the company that you’re in right now?
If you’re not the owner or a key decision-maker, what would continue to motivate you? What would continue to push you forward? That’s another way to look at purpose.
Purpose Takes Shape with Time
Purpose and values aren’t necessarily something that you come up with overnight. It’s not going to be a matter of sitting down for a few hours and just writing these things down.
As a solo business owner, my company’s purpose and its core values are something that I’m still developing.
Purpose and values may be developing with a company that’s 50 years old. As times change, we have to look at how our purpose and values adapt, how they come to mean something else, or how they’re perceived by our customers or clients.
They will come to you in time, if you give them the opportunity. So it’s something you want to start churning, but allow those ideas to come to you from your intuition, or wherever you get your inspiration from.
Want to take a deep dive into your company’s ideology? Download our “Discover Your Company Ideology” ebook here.
Talk It Over with Your Board
If you have an advisory or executive board, this is something that you’re going to want to work on defining with them. Your board may be made up of a marketing expert, an operations expert, a financial expert, information technology expert, etc., and they’re all going to have different perspectives.
What’s important is that even with those different perspectives, the purpose and the values still ring true. So this is an exercise that you need to go through, but once you do, it’ll be something that you’ll be able to engrain throughout every aspect of your company.
If your company mission statement and vision are all ironed out and they ring true in your heart, please leave me a comment or shoot me a message. I’d love to hear what it is. But more importantly, I’d love to hear how you came to that conclusion.