The Ultimate 10-step Checklist to Start Writing a Purpose for your Company Now.
– FROM ZERO TO PATAGONIA IN 20 MINUTES
Do you know...What is the one thing that most of the successful companies in history have in common?
It is not a sector. It is not a product. It is not a specific technology.
... Of course, you know what it is. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here.
Everyone is talking about it. There is so much excitement about this that it is starting to become a frenzy.
But hear me out. It is not.
Having a clearly defined Purpose is the single most important predictor of a company's success. This is something known for years, now.
Books, Scientific Research, the Harvard Business Reviews, Fast Company,Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune the Economist, you name it.
If you read any kind of Business Literature, you have read it many many times.
It is so well demonstrated that having a Purpose is good for the profit, the people, and the planet, that now the burden of proof is on who tells the contrary.
From Apple to Microsoft, from Patagonia to Unilever, from Tesla to Ben & Jerry's, many Fortune 500 and beyond have a Purpose. A real one.
A clear direction towards which they concentrate their efforts; a unique and powerful idea that fuels every piece of their journey through bad and good Quarters; an inspiring mission that glue together customers, workforce or business partners.
So, I'm saying nothing new if I state that you need a Purpose. And probably that's why you're here. Because you know you need a Purpose.
You want the high productivity, low complaint, intensely engaged workforce. You want the kind of team ready to jump into the fire to get things done. You want to work on something that leaves a mark. You want an entire company full of committed employees willing to go the extra mile.
You want all of your people to work together as a unified force, knowing precisely what they have to do. And why.
Want to hear the good news?
If you're in Business, you already have it.
Yes, you have a Purpose.
And, unless you gave some thought to this, most probably it is not the one written on your website.
In most cases, that is just a mediocre statement that someone thought was suitable for Marketing.But it is serving nobody, since none of your customer, workers or partners probably read it.
Your Purpose is built inside you, sculpted by your stories and experience.
It's the Lessons you have to share and the Future you would like to see.
It's the real motivation that got you to do whatever you do.
Of course, you have it.
But since it's hidden, it needs to be discovered.
But... first things first.
What exactly is a Company's Purpose?
A purpose is 'the' reason why your Company exists in the first place, apart from money. Of course, we're all in this also for money. We need money to live our lives comfortably.
But humans don't go to work every day just to survive and pay the bills.
We go to work every day to thrive.
To make order into chaos and leave the World a better place than before.
Humans go to work to connect with others, to be awarded social recognition, to be proud of being as they are.
We go to work, finally, to be happy. Because work is not just work anymore.
With all the progress that provoked new ways of living (and a pandemic), we spend more time at work than anywhere else.
That's why it is essential to have a purpose. To make every second (or most of them) that we spend at work valuable, productive, and engaging. To make every second worth of living.
So why we do what we do?
That's our Purpose: it's our effort to best serve the interests of someone else
(a community, a group, a person, a client) together with our own.
That's, at least, the theory.
Less than 50% of companies have a purpose;
74% of employees are not engaged
More than 70% of workers are not satisfied with their work
85% of workers worldwide hate their jobs
Customers and young employee are demanding a more engaged workforce to achieve on all fronts, yet most organizations often don't know how.
People and companies get caught in the day-to-day routines and traumas.
They gradually shift towards more mundane targets, concentrating only on competitors, complaints, margins, bottom lines... forgetting why they joined a specific company in the first place.
The consequences? Let me remind you:
85% of workers worldwide admit to hating their jobs
For so many of us, to hate our own jobs equal hating our own life.
It's not by chance the incredible spikes worldwide of people suffering mental health problems.
Having a Purpose can certainly help to solve this. To be precise, the discovery process of a Company Purpose can help to solve this.
That's where many companies go wrong.
Most of them that recognise the importance of having a clear mission, don't go through the necessary path to discover which one it is. They rely on a formulaic approach, hoping that a couple of "we want to be the best in the world at doing X" will do the job.
You know what?
Those simple phrases crafted by a couple of people on behalf of their entire organization won't do the job. No such phrase can.
Except for the one powerful and magnetic Purpose Statement, the only one capable of inspiring customers, workforce and business partners.
And not because of magic. But because there is only one phrase that can represent a capture the intention. There can be only one phrase that:
captures the uniqueness of your Company's efforts in a unique and crystalline way.
make everybody in your organization identifies in it, as individuals and at the same time, as part of a bigger group.
That's what a Purpose is.
The concrete reason you and every other person who works in your Company get out of bed every morning. From CEOs to those who guard the entrance.
And there's no universal formula that can shortcut the process needed to get something so complex in a single phrase.
A Purpose is a Just Cause.
Something that is worthwhile of working, labouring, even sacrificing.
It is something that your Company have in common, something deeply intertwined with what you do when you're happy to work there – when we're proud of being at the right place, at the right time.
Something that you – individually and as a group – deeply care about.
Something that works in the back of their minds and hearts as a constant reminder of what problems you're trying to solve.
So. With that said, let me face you with the 'cursed' question.
What's your Purpose?
That's a stupid question, huh?
Yeah, it is really cursed: you simply cannot answer it. It is not as simple as that.
If you were only a generic question away from the one thing that can put your Company in motion, the World would be such a splendid place.
Less than 50% of companies have a purpose;
50% of Companies aren't made of stupid people. They're made of brilliant minds, with heartful thoughts. Probably like you.
But discovering a Purpose is something you cannot do alone. It requires objectivity, structure, the proper technique, the right tools and the correct mindset. And some time to invest.
And that's in 95% of the cases the Discovery Process usually requires an external intervention that can objectively assess the impact that the Company is having (or will have) on the World.
And, after they've done that, crystallize it in a simple phrase written with simple but powerful language. It is not easy to boil down what everyone "thinks" the Purpose really is, from what it really is.You do you.
But to see objectively and thoroughly who you are, you need someone else.
Is it worth investing time and resources in a Purpose Discovery while there are many other daily emergencies that affect your bandwidth?
if you feel that your Company is losing ground to the competitor,
if you feel that people are not motivated,
if you feel that they too easily lose momentum
if you feel that «50% or more of your employees hate their jobs»
...this is the ultimate emergency that needs your attention. Because if you are not going to solve this, no one would. And you to unlock your company's full potential before achieving everything else.
How are you going to write your Company's Future if you don't know where you're going?
It's like sail without a navigator: the chances to arrive where you really want to arrive are 1 in billions.
And motivation is not free, neither unlimited resources. All the energy that right now is constipated needs to be put back in motion.
The fact is that... your Purpose is there.Somewhere. It is in your mind, it is in your heart.
And that's why we created a scientific approach that can quickly solve this problem. To capture as honestly as possible the general sentiment of your Company. Even (or, especially) if it's different from your own.
Start answering these questions by marking on a sheet – from 1 to 5 – how much you agree with each of the statements.
Then send us the result to this address: we will come back to you for a chat (no strings attached) to find out if we can do for you, or just give you some feedback.
We have a specific and defined problem we're trying to solve for the next 20 (or more) years.
We feel motivated to go through whatever obstacle in order to fulfil. Even it does it mean to be paid less, to work longer hours or under different conditions.
Even if we're specialized or work n a niche, we going to work we feel we're doing something bigger than ourselves, something that every one of us couldn't do alone. Something that once accomplished will make the World a better place.
We're able to meet our goals (not only the financial ones) no matter what.
We're proud of the work we do.
We can flexibly adapt to change. A change in the market in condition, a change in the competition field, or any other things that affect or will affect the 'way' we're used to doing things.
Money is not the most powerful driver for productivity and accomplishment in our team.
Most of my team, most of the time, is engaged and satisfied with what we do.
We're used to spending time at work doing what's right for our mission, not what someone else tells us to do.
I can remember, without looking, what's exactly is our Company's Mission
Aligned is the term that best describe our Company.
We think that our financial growth is dependent on the fulfilment of our mission.