Business Purpose: what it is and how to identify your organization’s purpose
Can you identify the purpose of a company when you know it? Or can you identify the purpose of the company you work for? And, you who have your own business, have you defined your business purpose?
Many companies do not have a defined “why” for their existence. You might think that, in reality, the purpose of every trade is to make money. But when we talk about business purpose, we are talking about something that goes beyond that. By defining its purpose, the company manages to motivate and inspire people, especially its employees and collaborators. The definition of a business purpose creates union and generates a sense of belonging, serving as motivation to work and dedicate yourself to that company.
While it may just seem like a passing trend, establishing a business purpose is a tool that makes a big difference when it comes to success and engagement. Thinking about showing how to find a purpose, we prepared this text. Understand the main characteristics and relevant points of business purpose and get to know the golden circle, one of the most well-known and consolidated purpose structuring tools.
What is the purpose?
Briefly, we can define purpose as an intention, purpose; it is something proposed, that one wants to achieve. Therefore, the purpose is something that moves people. If they have a purpose, they can base their daily lives, activities, and lifestyle on it. Also, people tend to do something better when it has a purpose, as almost no one likes to do things just for the sake of doing them. We like to have a motive, or rather motivation.
The same thing that happens in personal matters also happens with a company. When it finds what we call business purpose, it finds its reason to function, which also defines its brand, organizational culture, and ethical values, in addition to its mission, vision, and values.
What is the business purpose?
If you have a business right now, you are probably wondering what the business’s purpose is and how to find purpose. To understand, it is necessary to return to the basic concept of purpose. As stated above, a purpose is something you want to achieve. In other words, it is what we believe in, not just a catchphrase, but a real intention, a higher objective. Therefore, a purpose often has a social intention, to bring about improvement for you and the people around you.
When it comes to a company, the purpose is related to its reason to exist, it is the essence of the business. Thus, the purpose is related to the internal environment of the company, consolidating its ideology, values , and organizational culture. It is important to remember that the business purpose is not the same thing as the company’s mission. Although they are related, their purposes and missions are different. While purpose looks to the internal environment, mission focuses on the external environment.
Within this context, the purpose is fundamental for the construction of the identity and the business strategy. Currently, more and more companies have realized that only technical and rational attributes are not enough to keep the company functioning. It is necessary to go further. It takes purpose to function and motivate your employees. In this way, emotional, sensorial, moral, and ethical elements have conquered their space within organizations, causing transformations and bringing several benefits.
A survey by Korn Ferry, an American consulting and management company, showed that companies with teams that are focused on a purpose grow about three times more than other companies in their segment.
How to find a purpose?
Businesses start because they intend to supply existing needs. When there is a need, a business works to fill it and thus generates profit for itself. Within this context is the business purpose, which permeates the work of employees and gives a reason for the company to exist.
If we stop to think about it, every company arises from a purpose, even if unconsciously. Therefore, it is not necessary, necessarily, to create a purpose from scratch, but to discover it and, later, to structure it in a clear and synthetic way. To be able to find a business purpose, some tools can help. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most consolidated, effective, and known tools: the golden circle.
A golden circle is a tool made up of three spheres, which form something like a diagram. Think of a circle divided into three parts. At the center, at the core, is the “why”?; around it is the “how”; and, involving the how is “what?”.
Because? It is the purpose of the company, which justifies its existence;
As? It is the set of processes adopted by the company that aims to make the purpose viable;
What? Result of the processes, that is, the product or service offered by the company.
When they define and communicate their purpose, that is, their differential, companies are able to stay relevant and make better decisions. According to Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, so the most important message a company can send is why because that’s what will inspire people. The author has a theory that communication of purpose activates the area of the brain that is linked to decisions, influencing behaviors and actions. As a result, it is possible to guarantee a series of benefits, such as:
More motivation for employees who work in a company with purpose;
Mobilization of employees, generating more quality and dedication;
Attracting and retaining talent;
Strengthening of organizational culture;
Sales and revenue growth;
Norte for the creation of ideas and decision-making within the company.
Remembering that the business purpose cannot be something too generic or too focused. It must be something more difficult to achieve; just be careful not to make it impossible. In addition, the purpose needs to be unique, authentic, perennial, and part of the company’s DNA. The product or service may change, but its purpose must remain.
How to make the business purpose clear?
Once the purpose is defined, it is necessary to put it into practice and consolidate it. Check out some tips to do this:
- Define your goals
The first step is basic. It is time to deliberate and choose a reason why the organization exists. Ideally, this process should be led by the leadership and involve employees, customers, suppliers, and shareholders. A good business purpose will relate the company’s performance to a particular social need, in addition to making it clear how the performance of each person involved allows for achieving results.
- Make the purpose clear
It is important to share your purpose with internal and external audiences. So, in addition, make clear the purpose of the company and what it believes in during advertisements, meetings, blogs, websites, social networks, and even physically, on the walls of the office.
- Put it into practice
With leadership support, the company must place its purpose at the center of its actions and activities, including during personnel management. To start this transformation process, the company must use its purpose as a compass to guide decision-making and possible change processes.
- Track progress
It is extremely important to monitor the company’s performance in this process, to know if there has been an evolution and if the changes are really happening. Even if they happen gradually, the important thing is not to stagnate and progress gradually. Assess how much has changed, listen to feedback from employees, customers, investors, and shareholders, and understand how the change is being received by them.
- Accelerate change
In order for the business purpose to be consolidated, it is necessary to take some measures. The objective must be clear in the communications made by the leaders and there must be a follow-up to ensure that it is worked on during the work routine, but always ensuring that employees have the autonomy to make their own decisions if they are aligned with the purpose.