WE GET THIS QUESTION ALL THE TIME: IF MY COMPANY HAS A MISSION AND VISION, WHY DO WE NEED A PURPOSE?
Last week over a cocktail, I chatted with a friend who leads a successful IT company. He asked about my work as the CEO of BrightHouse, and what Purpose-driven thinking entails. “Can I turn in a friend chit?” he inquired, not wanting to overstep friend-business boundaries while I was downing my Tito’s, but clearly piqued.
Derek relayed that his company paid a marketing firm to draft a mission and vision, but he was sitting on the output. The New Year made him reflective on whether he should roll it out; indeed, his management team had inquired about it, but something was nagging him.
Derek’s firm helps companies make smarter decisions about their IT solutions. The company has grown steadily year-over-year since its founding in 2007, has expanded globally, and is focused on core competencies. Arguably then, articulating a mission and a vision built on strong performance should be relatively simple. Yet Derek was so uninspired by what his consultants had delivered that he was hiding it under a bushel.
“Purpose is your company’s North Star, its raison d’être.”
BrightHouse believes that while mission and vision are critical to an organization’s health, they often aren’t compelling enough to inspire lasting behavioral change. Mission and vision help management sleep at night because they know they have direction. Purpose gets leaders up in the morning energized about potential. It ignites people’s passions and underscores why the role they play matters. It instills advocacy, not just loyalty, from employees and customers.
Purpose is your company’s North Star, its raison d’être. The mix of the emotional and rational that comes from understanding how you (yes, you, Derek!) and your company can spark real change in the world. And experience has shown us that once CEOs know the Purpose of their company, it burns a hole in their pocket until they do something about it.