VIDEO: Does your core purpose inspire customers and employees?

September 19, 2017

An organization's core purpose is their reason for being and answers the question: what difference are we making in the world? In my short video below, I walk through the five attributes of having a successful core purpose as explained by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great



Hello everyone, Rob Lynch here. The question for today is “How do I define my company’s core purpose?”

An organization’s core purpose is their reason for being, according to Collins’ work, and also answers the question “What difference are we making in the world?” In his research and book “Good to Great,” he discovered that there are five attributes to having a successful core purpose.

First, it’s a higher purpose beyond profit or job creation. Second, it does not change, but it inspires change. Third, it helps you work around obstacles that you encounter. Fourth, it inspires your people in volunteerism. And fifth, it’s the difference that you are making.

My favorite example is Medtronics. They make medical devices, such as pacemakers. Their core purpose is to restore people’s lives. They are a thirty-billion-dollar company with four billion dollars in profit, and employ tens of thousands of people around the world. But they also have a deeper reason for being, and it’s the difference they’re making in the world that matters to them.

I suggest two steps in defining or refining your core purpose – get your founder involved if they’re still there. First, watch the first eight minutes and fifteen seconds of Simon Sinek’s TedTalk, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action."

Then second, answer the question “What is it that our company does today?” Then ask, “Why is that important?” Then ask, “Why does that matter?” Continue with the series of “whys” until you find something that has a deeper meaning and is very emotional.

This is hard work and it takes time to develop a compelling core purpose, but it matters to your employees and your customers. My challenge is: Is your core purpose as inspiring as restoring people’s lives?

Follow the two steps that I suggested and contact me if you need help. Thank you.