Before we even get into the good, the bad and the ugly about Mission and Visions and why you need a business purpose statement, let’s just pause for a second and look at the vocabulary of business.

It’s amazing to me how much of the language we use around business is military in nature and all about battle and competition.

We WIN clients or business.
We FIGHT for market share.
We operate from HEADQUARTERS
We BATTLE for competitive advantage
We take no PRISONERS

I believe in the new business paradigm that we will (and are) starting to think and talk about business as a living organism. Something that moves, grows, sheds its skin and is reborn through innovation and adaption.

But that’s a whole other article and I will get back to the point.

Why Mission Statements are dead:

Because most people in an organisation don’t even know the mission statement and vision.
They are often long winded and trying to please everyone.
There is often serious confusion between what is a Mission Statement and what is a Vision.
They are often shareholder or customer focused.
They are very rarely motivating enough for the whole team.

Here’s an example of Target’s Mission Statement

Target: “Our mission is to make Target the preferred shopping destination for our guests by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and an exceptional guest experience by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. Brand promise.”

Do you think the cashier at the checkout can recite that? Do you think they feel motivated by that?

New paradigm businesses are motivated and aligned by a higher business purpose.

So what is a Higher Business Purpose?

A Higher Purpose benefits the community or the world (this is what we mean by a socially responsible business). The purpose is not profits, profits come as a result of being on purpose.
It should give those that work in the business goose bumps and be highly motivating to all.
It may not be achieved in the lifetime of the business, it is like the old saying “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars”.
It doesn’t describe what services the business performs or what products they sell, or who the customers are.

When you get the Higher Business Purpose right it unites the team, it aligns everyone and it attracts great talent and opportunities.

Here are some great examples of Higher Business Purpose:
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” – Tesla
“Use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Patagonia
“To transform the DNA of business through consciousness.” The Conscious CEO

Once you have your Higher Business Purpose nailed and embraced by the team, it is like a beacon of light when you are working on your Core Values.

It becomes part of the culture that is embedded into the DNA of your business.

It motivates everyone around a higher and worthy goal that even if never achieved in their lifetime has been worth the pursuit.

So what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and complete the exercise to Define your Higher Business Purpose.

business purpose

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