A purpose-driven company, as Deloitte and others have described it, is one that has “an important objective that creates meaningful impact for stakeholders.” The stakeholders are customers, employees, communities and investors.
You may be just starting out or the U.S. president of an international company and asking yourself, “What does this mean for me and my business? How do I know if our business has purpose? How do we assess if it does? What do we do if ours doesn’t have it? How do we better communicate it to the company?”
Company culture is something that I’ve consulted many companies on over the years. Some companies were small 1-10 person teams, others 5,000 and more people, scattered around the world. They all had a common issue that usually stemmed from a lack of purpose or the breakdown in communication of it, which led to low employee engagement levels and disconnected marketing and communications programs.
The first thing I do is survey research. You have to take inventory before you can assess a situation and provide a solution. Employees and customers are excellent barometers for what’s working and what needs improvement. Of course, the hard part is discerning fact from fiction, creating the plan to address it and implementing that action plan.
For larger businesses, I recommend having an independent survey done by an expert or local university to remove all biases and ensure that you are getting the clearest answers to your questions. Wrong information could lead to disastrous or ineffective action plans. Before creating the plan, it’s recommended to assemble a group of stakeholders—be careful to not have too many or productivity will decrease—from all parts of the business to work on the action plan together with an independent consultant who can bring objectivity and industry best practices to the group.
For the smaller businesses, I recommend starting with past or current customer interviews to get their takeaways of your business. I’d follow that up with a back-to-basics style look at your businesses’ core messaging. This is a workbook program I’ve done with solopreneurs and small businesses that looks at the who, what, when, where, how, and, most importantly, why of your business. Why you do what you do is the million-dollar question that many have a seriously hard time answering. Sometimes this is due to simply never asking it before or a misguided focus on the wrong things. Both can lead to fragmented marketing and communications and the wrong types of customers.
Now it’s your turn. Where do you stand on the value of business purpose? How does purpose influence the way you run your business? Share your insights in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and be well!
Hi, I'm Tiffany! I'm a business coach and consultant who believes businesses with soul is the way to go. That's why I've made it my mission to help entrepreneurs live out their business purpose and grow their ideas into profits. Meet other like-minded entrepreneurs now in the Dreamer & Creator online community.