Do you know the purpose of your business or brand? Is it clear in the company you work for or the brand you have built?
One of the keys to successful growth in many businesses is knowing their purpose and by this, I mean their aim, what they stand for and strive to achieve.
A wonderful quote that, for me, sums up purpose is from when President JFK visited NASA HQ in 1961. While touring the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. He replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
Isn’t this just wonderful? There is so much strength and power in solidarity and alignment of key objectives and when each person is making the most of their skills and strengths, anything can be achieved.
A sense of purpose is getting ever more important in the demands of potential employees with it reported that 64% of millennials won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate responsibility practices (Cone Communications, 2016).
I feel this figure is only going to get higher, so it is imperative that all business owners and senior business leaders get to grips with their sense of purpose.
But how can you do that – you can’t just pluck your purpose out of thin air; it takes some strategic thinking which is what I work with clients on.
It’s about scaling back and really thinking about why you are doing what you are doing. What do you stand for and what are you trying to achieve? Your purpose is your reason.
Some companies get to this by figuring out their values and being crystal clear on who they are and what they stand for. Some accompany this by writing their mission statement stating what purpose they are serving their target audience.
Examples of mission statements include IKEA’s: To create a better everyday life for the many people and TED’s simple yet effective, Spread ideas. Simple, does what it says on the tin stuff.
It’s definitely worth taking some proper time to think about this and re-address why you are working where you are or why you started your business in the first place. What is it that keeps you going and making you tick? Typically it becomes clearer when you’ve got a really close emotional connection with your purpose. I love working with clients on this and really digging deep into their overall why.
Once you have your purposed nailed, this should be transparent throughout your whole company and brand – customers and employees should really be able to feel it. This can be from your social media to having your values visible in the office environment. It allows your staff and target audience to really understand what you stand for and believe in which makes it easier for them to get on board with what you do or offer. I encourage clients not to just stop by there, I work with them to embed the behaviours of these values into their teams, to take ownership of these behaviours and identify what business activities really bring these values to life.
By having this clear sense of purpose, your brand is easily identifiable and business decisions can be made more easily by asking does this fit in with your sense of purpose. If not, you don’t do it. Recruiting new staff and taking on new clients by thinking about whether they’re aligned to your purpose and values often quantifies the ‘gut feel’ you might get and makes decision making faster.
Your sense purpose is an ongoing process and it needs to be reinforced, re-evaluated and reminded constantly to ensure that the work you are doing and the messages you are sending out are in line with it. Engaging staff is the key ingredient here as if there are fully aligned with your sense of purpose and understand it fully, they will live and breathe it which will be consistently felt by your audience – powerful stuff.
I see constantly the link between purpose and increased productivity, happiness and growth. Could I help you find yours?