Making the World: Stanley Black & Decker’s Journey to Purpose

Written by

Andra London Managing Director |

Nov 07, 2017 · 6-minute read

Stanley Black & Decker is a global leader in tools, storage, security, and engineered fastening. With employees in over 60 countries, it’s products and services are used in nearly every country around the world. To discover the thread that could pull all those strings together, and align the organization and acquisitions as a company of story brands, CEO Jim Loree embarked a journey to find their purpose. That’s where we came in.

Though originally founded in 1843, Stanley Black & Decker as we know it today was formed in March 2010 when two major American tool and hardware companies merged. Both Stanley and Black & Decker had been leaders of innovation since their origins; always on the forefront of hand and power tools, customer service, health, and safety. Their technologies propelled advancement in the fields of medicine and energy, and drove exploration of new frontiers in oceans and outer space. Today, Stanley Black & Decker is the #1 global leader in tools and storage, and #2 in global commercial electronic security and a leader in engineered fastening.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 10.02.12 AM
Our purpose video takes center stage on Stanley Black & Decker’s homepage.

When Jim Loree was promoted from COO to CEO in August of 2016, he entered his new position with a promise to bring a new era of innovation and advancement. Despite the company’s 175 years of success, Loree knew that something was missing, such as a rich context for why they do what they do, everyday.
In order to  outpace the industry’s rapid rate of change, and achieve his ambitious growth objectives, he sought to create a sense of unity and meaning for 50,000+ employees following the 2010 merger, recent acquisitions, and rapid growth that had made them a top performer in its sector in recent years. To achieve the level of alignment that could bring together diverse business units in over 60 countries, Stanley Black & Decker needed a common ‘why’ for 50,000 ‘what’s’.

Our starting point for this work lies with an introspective look at the company, its heritage, and its culture today. We engaged in a collaborative process over more than six months, talking and listening to leaders and associates across functions, business units, and the world. Through these conversations, we captured the organization’s core and distinctive strengths in a set of Principles that represent what the organization looks like when at its best.

Cut Through Challenges
Every expertly crafted product we make empowers people to do better, safer, more significant work around the world. That’s why we work tirelessly to improve our quality. By empowering our people to take on any challenge, to solve the toughest problems, and to find a way forward. Here, performance rules over pedigree, we believe in bootstraps, and hard work is rewarded. Because it takes unparalleled commitment to make the world’s hardest-working products for the world’s hardest-working people.

We Join Forces
We believe in the power of coming together to create a better company, product, and bottom line. At SBD, we’re proud to be comprised of so many iconic brands. What makes us so strong is our ability to bring these moving parts together for the collective good, because we know our sum is stronger than any of our component parts. We do that by cultivating an open and collaborative environment, where every voice is valued, and a win for one is a win for all.

Reliable to Our Core
Integrity is in our DNA — our word is our bond. We never cut corners when it comes to quality and safety.  That’s why, the world over, Stanley Black & Decker’s brands are synonymous with reliability, confidence, and trust. It goes back to our roots as the makers of the most distinguished and sturdiest measurement tools and locks on the market. The world relies on the precision, durability, and safety of our work, day in and day out. Failure is not an option.

Bold Breaks the Mold
SBD isn’t just a tool company, we’re an ambitious transformational global growth company. We have a long history of pioneering breakthrough innovations and setting new standards within the industry. We wouldn’t have been able to come up with the DustBuster or the drill used for the moon landing if we weren’t willing to take risks. We stay ahead of the curve by constantly looking at today’s world to create solutions for a better tomorrow.

Taken together, the Principles served as the foundation for the organization’s Purpose. Stanley Black & Decker’s Purpose is articulated as, For Those Who Make the World. This Purpose conveys Stanley Black & Decker’s commitment to equipping and supporting the people – employees, engineers, contractors, builders, military, healthcare professionals, DIY’ers – who build, protect, repair, and secure the world around them.

We often say that “Purpose without participation is only parchment,” meaning that the success of any Purpose project relies on how it comes to life within the organization through behaviors, decisions, and initiatives. To support Stanley Black & Decker’s efforts to activate Purpose internally, BrightHouse collaborated with the team to create a “Purpose Activation Toolkit.” This toolkit enabled SBD leaders globally to lead Purpose Activation Workshops—generating excitement around Purpose while identifying and prioritizing ways to integrate Purpose into daily business activities and strategies.

Stanley Black & Decker launched Purpose in January 2017 at the leadership meeting, then to all employees at the February Town Hall. This launch was accompanied by a newly designed corporate website showcasing Purpose in Spring 2017. By uniting its diversified portfolio under a singular Purpose, Stanley Black & Decker communicates both the overarching “why” that guides the organization as well as the distinct role that each business plays in delivering it.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 10.49.47 AM
Selected frames from the purpose presentation.

Stanley Black & Decker’s Purpose narrative of equipping people, innovating around customer needs, and improving communities distinguishes the organization as a distinctly human industrial company in a highly functional category. It drives an emotional connection with stakeholders and serves as the umbrella under which Stanley Black & Decker can communicate about existing programs, new acquisitions, products, and strategies.



Today, Stanley Black & Decker’s Purpose continues to guide how the organization engages with colleagues, customers, and communities.

Jim Loree on “Unleashing Employee Potential in the Workplace” with Fortune.

“How Stanley Black & Decker’s CEO Defined the Purpose of the 175-Year-Old Company” with Fortune.

Stanley Black & Decker Receives Prestigious Citizens Award from US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Jim Loree credits Purpose.

And look for more information about our work here at BrightHouse on the blog. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest insights on purpose. 

Read More


"*" indicates required fields


Tell us how we can partner together.