What is your company’s core purpose? Have you ever even taken the time to answer this question? A company without a purpose is about as successful as a sailboat without a sail. You can still float, but going forward is out of the question. It is the heart of what your company stands for in the long run. Employees can come and go but your reason for being stays the same.
You might be saying right now, “Oh that’s easy! We sell blah product or blah resources to blah companies.” Guess what? That makes you a blah company! Core purposes do not deal in specifics, but look at the big picture.
You’re still confused right? You thought you had this one in the bag with no thought. The best way to illustrate how a core purpose should be presented is to look at a company that has been around for years. What better company to spotlight than Disney? The Walt Disney Corporation has been a powerhouse in the world for decades. Now, what would have happened if Disney decided way back in its beginnings that its core purpose was to “Market the Mickey Mouse cartoon to the young generation in order to make money?” It’s specific enough and at the time it was probably all that they wanted to do. Most companies believe the bottom line is just to make profit. However, in the grand scheme of things, this is a horrible core purpose. If Disney dealt in specifics, then there would be no giant theme parks all over the world and no empire of beloved characters and movies to go along with it. They would have never conquered the world!
Disney chose a much more simplistic core purpose, “to make people happy.” It’s so simple but it works. The more intricate purposes are all included in this one simple phrase. Mickey Mouse makes people happy, and so by making them happy, Disney is also marketing Mickey to a young generation. The parks and other characters in their repertoire just add to this core purpose. Don’t think too hard! Take what you want to do and simplify it so that your purpose is never limited! Our core purpose at Brightwing is “is to help individuals and enterprises elevate and enhance performance in the workplace” It is a much more open purpose than to just help people find jobs and get money!
A core purpose cannot come true without having employees on board, however. Let’s say Disney hired an amazing marketer that could make Mickey look like gold. Said marketer could care less about the happiness of those he advertised the character to, but loved the money that came rolling in. Eventually, this employee would not be able to uphold the Disney purpose. If all he cares about is profits and does not know how to make his clientele happy, other characters or creations that Disney wants him to market could be a huge flop. Likewise, hiring a writer that creates stories for Mickey that don’t paint him in a good light would take smiles away faster than tragic accidents. Uphold your core purpose by looking for employees who genuinely want to represent it.
Creating a core purpose requires you to take a step back and ask why. You can think of specific aspects of your company’s being all day long, but until you know the core reason for why you are doing these things, you cannot get the big picture for what your company wants to do in the future. A core purpose should be able to last centuries and still hold true. I should be able to dig it up years from now and display it in a museum! Think about that next time you are deciding how to grow your company!