Did you know that the average age of a soldier in the second world war was a desperately young 26? There are stories of recruits being commissioned in their late teens and early twenties due to the rapid loss of life. A responsibility none of them will have had any experience in.
But what does this have to do with strategic business consultants and building a company purpose in the shadows of 2020?
Though the second world war is an extreme example, it clearly showed everyone that sometimes we’re taken aback by the circumstances and put into roles we have neither no experience nor desire to be involved in.
The same example we have now. The pandemic.
It is something that took everyone by surprise and none of us expected to ever experience.
“Normal” took a back seat for extraordinary and a lot of businesses weren’t ready to accept that challenge since no business strategic consultant could predict that.
It brought stages of change in the way we lead our businesses. However, not everyone was ready to change their business strategy and rely upon the unknown.
Those businesses fell into two camps as I see it:
- Cut and run – slash costs at all cost
- Take a moment and reflect on what is, what there might be, and what you want.
This casts some light on what a lot of businesses are based on. The purpose-driven businesses found a way to adjust to the new conditions pandemic created. They saw the opportunity and they moved towards that change.
It also made strategic business consultants change the ways and find new means of building the strategy that would lead businesses towards their goals.
The purpose is not the requirement. It is the engine that makes your business strategy work.
So, if being a purpose-driven business is so important, how do we create our company purpose in the first place?
Top 5 tips for creating and implementing your company purpose:
Don’t chase profits.
Obviously, your business should have a good business strategy to meet the goals and realize the assets. That’s what your strategic business consultant would tell you. However, profits solemnly shouldn’t be the wood that makes your business fire glow brighter.
Is every decision you make driven only by the profits? Do you really think that if you weren’t keen on doing something you would start it?
Get beyond the financial structure, find the core of what you do and become the one who does it the best. Creating a business plan, put your purpose at the top and define the best ways to reach it.
As the quote says “ Choose the job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Make your purpose drive you and your decisions. Profits will come as a result.
Ensure that your business strategy outlines the ‘why.’
Many businesses, young or experienced, make the mistake of promoting what they do and how they do it. They list their services and provide examples of their projects. However, they never bring the “why” they do it out there.
That sometimes confuses the customers as well as employees since it doesn’t provide a clear understanding of the purpose. Starting your business strategic planning, you have to outline the reasons why you do what you do and what you want your customers to see beyond the corporate and financial structures.
What is that thing, that passion that drives you? What was the reason for you to start your business in the first place?
Whole Foods for example clearly outline their mission: “Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet.”
It not only encourages people to want to work with them. The purpose they state drives every decision they make and helps the strategic business consultants to build the development plan upon that.
Accept that you are in the people business, no matter your industry.
Regardless of the industry you work in, be it software development, beauty service or retail, you have to remember that the most valuable assets you have are your customers and employees.
Even the strategic business consultants strangely work on both sides. They help businesses to serve the needs of their customers better.
Therefore, your company’s purpose can only come when you embrace that and work towards it, satisfying the needs of both.
The more purpose-driven your business is, the easier it is for you you navigate your company needs and streamline the operating processes. The health of your company and the development are based on your purpose and how well you can implement that in your business strategic planning.
Have a look at these two statements:
‘We must ensure our team has all the support they need during these challenging times’.
‘We need strategies to ensure the productivity of our human capital’.
Can you guess who is the author of each statement? Definitely.
Your business strategy should always be aligned with your purpose which is to help people and to serve the needs of people you work with and for. Don’t think it is harder than it sounds, since it is not. Implemending your purpose insto strategic planning is far more straightforward.
You don’t need complex HR campaigns or a huge team of business strategy consultants to help you rationalize and prioritize your decisions. Just never forget what your purpose is and stay human. That is the best way to keep your company healthy and flourishing.
Use company values to keep your purpose on track.
Why you do what you do is the purpose, and what rules you keep to when following the purpose are the values.
If there are no clear values defined in your strategy you should definitely hire a strategic business consultant to help you create them. Values are directly connected with the purpose your business is there to serve.
Same as with the “why” mentioned above, you have to know what drives you and what values are aligned with your purpose. Once you have those values in mind you will make decisions easier and meet your goals faster.
For example, the values of Waking Giants are:
- Make it happen – If you have an idea, or commit to something, get it done.
- Grow together – As a team and with our clients – if we are not on the journey together, we are only part of a transaction.
- Ditch the baggage – If we hold on to our beliefs and ideas too long, we stop ourselves from growing. The ability to own failure and the unknown is the ability to grow and thrive.
Make sure you have your values on display to show your customers what is important for you and what all your decisions are driven with. It makes them closer to you and it helps to understand and share your company beliefs and values.
Your purpose may change, and that’s ok.
When you check all the points in your plan for this month, you set up new ones. When your business strategy doesn’t work your strategic business consultants change the plan. When you’ve reached level 10 you don’t stop and aim for the 20th.
Same with the purpose.
When you start a business you have one goal to reach and one purpose to serve. However, it doesn’t mean you have to stop growing and keep to that purpose forever.
Once your purpose is served, you can change it. In the fast-developing world we live in it is necessary to change and evolve. We adjust to the things surrounding us to make the best out of what we do.
To be a purpose-driven business you don’t have to make a vow to keep to your purpose and save the world. It is ok if it shifts and changes as you grow as long as it makes you get us in the morning and make decisions for the best.