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When is a purpose effective and inspiring?

The decoding phase in any structured purpose-driven work ends with the company having one or more suggestions for what the company purpose could be. These suggestions will and must have several opinions following them, both inside and outside the company. As such, this article will provide an overview of some criteria essential to consider in this decoding process.

The company’s purpose should be held up against and be able to deliver on all the following criteria to inspire and function effectively within a commercial framework:

  1. The purpose must indicate the company’s unique contributions and desired outside of the company. The end game has to be very clear.
  2. It must set a clear and specific direction for your company – one that also binds the company internally to a clear focus and specific actions.
  3. It must be proactive, leading to action and inspire on an emotional level, both internally and externally.
  4. It must create significant market clarity and include what the company is fighting for.
  5. It must reduce noise considerably and simplify the complicated so that everyone has the opportunity to make specific contributions regardless of their role within the company.
  6. It should put forward clear requirements for everyone and be a guide to create content (communication, concepts, products, investments etc.)
  7. It must push and inspire the company to develop the professionalism needed to realise the purpose.
  8. It must put in place the conditions for clear and distinct leadership. Based on the purpose, it should be relatively easy to understand what good leadership looks like in the company.
  9. It must show the way for which partnerships deserve the company’s attention in the future and which partnerships should be avoided.
  10. It must immediately lift and significantly improve disciplines such as communication, sales, recruitment, leadership, strategy, finance, company identity and execution.
  11. It must be able to explain the company’s behaviour and decisions at all times.
  12. It must be so specific that everyone in the company can present daily evidence of the company living by its purpose.

Present the criteria alongside the different purposes you have found during the decoding phase, and do not proceed with a purpose until all criteria have been met. When this has been sorted, you will have incorporated one of the biggest and most significant advantages you can have into the company. This will also be reflected directly in the spreadsheets and in the commitment of everyone who is involved with the company when you consistently and loyally stick to the ambitions outlined in the company’s purpose. This advantage will only increase in the future as long as you stay consistent and continuously use the purpose as the most important ‘gate’ to all significant decisions, not as a marketing tool.

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