Successful, enduring organizations understand the fundamental reason they were founded and why they exist, and they stay true to that reason. This helps them avoid losing their way. An organization’s core purpose—why it exists—has to be idealistic and inspiring. Many leadership teams struggle with this, afraid that what they come up with will seem too grand or aspirational but that's really the point. This is a short, concise statement that gives your employees the "why" behind what they do on a day to day basis.
"Now that doesn’t mean that all organizations make people’s lives better in major, transformational ways. Most do in relatively small, subtle ways. And it doesn’t mean that they make all people’s lives better; usually it’s a relatively small subset of the population. Nonetheless, every organization must contribute in some way to a better world for some group of people, because if it doesn’t, it will, and should, go out of business."
A FEW CRITICAL FACTORS
- Answering this question is not the end of the clarity process. You will have the opportunity to clarify more tactical areas of focus.
- An organization’s purpose has to be true. It must be based on the real motivations of the people who founded or are running the organization, not something that simply sounds good on paper.
- The process of determining your organization’s purpose cannot be confused with external or internal marketing messages. It must be all about giving your organization clarity and alignment.