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Benjamin Drury - December 5, 2015

Why does your organisation exist?

Every organisation has a purpose? It absolutely does have one.

Every organisation has a reason why they gather people to a place of work and pay them to do something. Even if you’ve not thought about it. Even if it’s never been articulated or written down. Even if it’s never mentioned in the office, your organisation has a purpose. There is always a ‘North Star’ which guides an organisation. If it’s not actively or deliberately defined, it will define itself; shaped by what the leaders say, how they behave and by what they choose to measure.

Do your organisation’s purpose is?

Whether purposefully defined and overtly expressed or primitively organic and unspoken, your teams will be executing some version of an organisational mission. Your purpose is what pilots your organisation into the future and against which everything your organisation does should be measured.

A purpose gives your team clarity, direction and focus and should be the very heartbeat of your organisation and it comes in three parts:

1. The mission: what an organisation does. This is what happens each and every day at the coalface (Google “organises the world’s information”; Disney “makes people happy”).

2. The values: how an organisation behaves. This defines what is and is not appropriate to do while executing the mission. (For example Zappos aims to – “Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded; Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit; Be Passionate and Determined; Be humble”.)

3. The vision: where the organisation is going. The business’ vision should be “a big hairy audacious goal”iii that the organisation aims to achieve. (Amazon Kindle wants to make “Every book ever printed in every language all available in 60 seconds from anywhere on the planet”).

Your business’ purpose is: what you do, how you do it and where you’re going.

Is yours defined? Do you know what it is?

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