Purpose Is an Inherent Part of Business
Since the beginnings of times, purpose is born with the company expressing its reason of existence.
Thus, the purpose must be business-connected, and its fit is achieved because the strategic objectives are born from and aligned with such business.
The challenge for the C-Suite and the management level is to first understand the real and deepest meaning of the company’s purpose, translating it into an actionable mission and vision. It is a matter of alignment, coherence and consistency. These are the basis of company better performance, not only in terms of achieving better economic and financial results, but also in generating a positive impact. BTW, if the leadership team feels that the purpose is not enough representative of the company activity, or they have problem, or they are the problem.
Purpose must be integrated into all aspects of how companies do business.
As life, purpose is understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. This means that, if purpose changes the company must change, essentially, because it has to be reimagined, redesigned and restarted to live a new aspirational future.
Making Purpose Explicit Is a Good First Step
To be practical, a good first step is to make the purpose explicit and, if it is already there, to ensure that it really is the reason for the company’s existence and not a good narrative invented by the marketing or communication areas.
Deal with it! If the purpose of the business is only to make money, that’s what it is! As mentioned before, it can change if the business changes.
To reinforce, deepen and especially to be driven by a purpose, in addition to making it explicit, companies must continuously translate it into precise business objectives associated with it. This ensures an executive response to all stakeholders and becomes the trigger for exceptional transformation and growth.
To make purpose a day-to-day meaningful experience, it is key to:
- Think, act and say, in that order
- Measure the impact of how the company acts on purpose
- Make the leadership team accountable
- Ensure that all stakeholders understand and share the company’s reason of existence
- Build company’s symbols, rituals and stories around its purpose
Don’t let marketing come up with a fancy brand purpose, people are not idiots.
Brand and Purpose
Branding aims at building a realistic meaning of the company in its interaction with people, independently but including the role they play as citizens.
In addition, when purpose includes the impact on society and environment, the brand as business platform helps demonstrate the consciousness of the company, not to mention internal issues of governance and responsible investments.
When stakeholders understand, live, and share what the company stands for and why that matters, the results come on their own, without out of the ordinary efforts. That’s why I said, at the very beginning of this article, that companies which act in line with their purpose create value, generate superior results, and could even have a positive impact.
If the company can’t deliver on purpose, its brand promise is basically an empty nonsense.
Some questions arise:
- Where is your company and your brand on this journey towards brands with a conscience?
- Is the company’s purpose explicit and does it need to be transformed?
- Is the company ready for a transformation that will lead to growth into both results and impact?