Why does your company exist? Really. Aside from you, who’d miss it if it disappeared tomorrow? Your team will find other jobs. Your customers other suppliers.
Welcome to the world of purpose. If the key impact your company is having is to increase your bank balance (and even then, only if you’re running it effectively), then your company is a commodity.
No one really cares.
That’s why today, having purpose is increasingly entry stakes for your company. It’s why more companies are talking purpose.
But tragically far fewer companies are actually doing purpose.
For many of the most talented employees today, purpose is important. Whether they want you to articulate it with a capital P, or just to quietly get on with it, it is important for an increasing number of your workforce.
If you don’t actively provide a compelling purpose for your company, two things are likely to happen. You’ll to lose out on a lot of the best talent out there – often without even knowing. And you’ll miss out on one of the strongest reasons for your existing best talent to stay with you.
Because the best people will always have options where to go. Money may be a big factor, but it’s definitely not the only one. And often not the decisive one.
The problem is that doing purpose takes a lot more than a workshop followed by a page with pictures of forests, oceans and children on your website.
It takes demonstrating how you make it real.
If you don’t, people will see through it. And even if you have the best intentions, unless you can figure out how to turn the purpose into real impact, you’ll be lumped in with the hypocrites, because no one will want to know why you didn’t.
So how to make your purpose real? It takes 3 steps:
1) First, choose a purpose that that actually aligns with your business and that you can feel strongly about. If your business can’t serve its purpose without pretzel-shaped contortions, then it’s not a good fit. By all means, donate to the thing you feel passionate about, but if it doesn’t align, then don’t make it your purpose.
2) Translate the purpose into how it fits your strategy. If you’ve chosen your purpose well, then this shouldn’t be too challenging a task.
3) Finally, have a way to make it real. Again, if your business aligns well with your purpose, and you’ve articulated a strategy which incorporates it, then you’ll have credible direction.
At which point, flex your strategic execution muscles and away you go.
This is actually one of the reasons we focus so hard in the Build on Purpose approach on how you make strategy real. Because it’s as much about your people, about your commercial success, as it is about your purpose.
How we can support you
- Join us on a workshop on how to scale your company; create time to focus on the bigger picture; and keep values and purpose core to your company. For max 5 CEOs of companies with revenues between £1.5m and £15m.
- Subscribe to our weekly Build on Purpose newsletter. Every Saturday morning, we'll send you a short focussed read on a specific topic of how to lead a company that values both profit and purpose.
- Talk to us to explore how we can help you scale your company in the direction you want to take it.