The Idea: “Purpose is at the essence of why firms exist,” says Hirotaka Takeuchi, a management professor at Harvard Business School. “There is nothing mushy about it. It is pure strategy.” In a world of great uncertainty, where the rules are changing right before our eyes, your ultimate secret weapon for creating competitive advantage is buried at your core.
Some of the best titans of industry have one overwhelming similarity: their businesses are birthed from their mission. Innovation, differentiation and internal growth all come from this one source. Purpose drives growth, not the other way around. Your distinct corporate identity and mission matter. And if it doesn’t truly compel others it actually may be repelling those you hope to inspire. A recent Fast Company article titled “Generation Flux,” brilliantly conveyed the value of flexibility and purpose by asking various leaders in business to discuss their missions. Bounce these ideas around your next team meeting.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasizes purpose driven social goals over financial goals as a symbol to lead his organization. “We do things because they’re just and right.”
- Eileen Fisher, CEO and Founder of the Eileen Fisher Fashion Company goes even further: “We want to be a great company more than we want to be a big company. If selling more means creating more stress for ourselves, should we do it?”
- Robert Wong is Executive Creative Director of Google Creative Lab, an internal innovation team that uncovers future products, services and ideas and serves as inspiration for the company. “The manager era is gone,” says Wong. “Your staff can leave. They have the option to go. That’s why purpose is so important. It’s the best way to keep talent.”
Everyone wants to work on a team that leaves an imprint. We all want to be inspired by what we do, believing it matters. And this is even truer of Millennials, who are modeling for the world that work and personal values must align. Mission maters and it could be your secret weapon for driving change.
To learn more take a read this Fast Company article: http://www.fastcompany.com/3035975/generation-flux/find-your-mission