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Benjamin Drury - April 6, 2020

Why is ‘why’ so important? 5 good reasons!

Your business can’t be all about the money. Here are five reasons why you need to build something with a bigger purpose:

Money doesn’t inspire most people.

Very few people are motivated by money alone. Those that are, are not much fun to work with and if you want to grow your business to any kind of size, then you will need other people to help you! Having a deeper purpose to your business gives them something real to get up for in the morning other than just paying the bills. People don’t just want to earn a living and then retire. The modern employee wants to make a difference. If you give your team a great reason to come to work you then don’t need to spend lots of time managing and motivating them. They do that themselves because they actually want to be there and do the job!

Your bottom line is better.

Productivity (and by extension revenue) goes up when an organisation has a strongly defined culture with a purpose. Plenty of studies have been done that show companies with great cultures, built on authentic values perform better. (So even if you believe in Milton Freidman’s declaration that the “one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits”, having a ‘why’ does exactly that!)

People want to stay.

Companies with a ‘why’ keep their best people. It is difficult to leave a job with a great culture for a job with a poor culture but more money. Build your organisation on a laudable foundational purpose (your ‘why’) and firstly you will attract the best people, but also you will keep your best people. According to the same PwC study, millennials who have a strong connection to the purpose of their organization are 5.3 times more likely to remain. And everyone knows hiring is an expensive lottery. Hold on to the people you’ve got.

(Side note: Those that don’t fit in your organisation will become very obvious and so can easily move people on that need replacing.)

It’s easier to protect your brand.

News flash: You are not in control of your brand. The people who buy from you, work with you, see you are in control of your brand on social media. With a true purpose defined and lived out, you will be more authentic and make it easier for your brand to be viewed how you want. You will also be much less likely to fall down the social media black holes like Cadbury, or Dove or lots of other brands. A true purpose is lived every day and overflows to the customers and created loyal advocates.

You can move quicker.

The modern organisation needs to move fast. With a great ‘why’ and everyone doing their jobs well, you can trust people to make great decisions for the right reason. This allows great organisations to cycle through opportunities and problems much quicker, giving you a huge advantage in a fast-moving competitive marketplace.

However, be warned. Defining the ‘why’ is not enough, you actually have to live it out at the coalface, every day! Your behaviours have to match what you say, otherwise, it’s not really a ‘why’ just a shallow marketing tactic and consumers can smell those a mile off!

What is your why? Let us know in the comments…

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