How to Find The Why of Your Company

a man drawing planning the ‘why’ purpose of a company on a whiteboard.

How to Find The Why of Your Company

We have all come across advice to turn our passion into our purpose, or to commit ourselves to find our purpose in life. It is true that without a purpose, we would live a meaningless existence. But can such a philosophical question be applied to the world of business? Indeed!

Finding your business’ purpose can have a profound impact on the future of your company. In this blog, let’s review why it is important to determine the ‘why’ purpose of your company and how to identify your core values and define your vision.

Why Should All Businesses Have a Purpose?

Historically, all extremely successful companies have a clearly defined purpose that stands as the motivation for all employees to keep working. A company can outline what products or services it offers, or even how it executes its mission through tools such as the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework.

However, only by identifying why it does something can a company’s purpose be defined. This will help the company connect with its audience on a much deeper scale.

The ‘why’ purpose of your company is its core values, and core goals it plans to achieve. It acts as a guide to how your company should respond during times of emergency. A good ‘why’ will be specific and relatable only for your organisation since it will make your customers and employees connect to the broader vision statement. The day-to-day work of teams or employees will also align with this.

By asking the ‘why’ of your brand, its uniqueness and special services that will potentially build a loyal customer base can also be illustrated. A well-defined plan for your brand will put you ahead of your competitors.

Once you identify why your business must exist in the first place and what it serves according to the customers’ needs of the hour, you can add more value to your services. Moreover, the employees feel valuable working for a company that is actually aware of its mission statement.

The Path to Finding Your ‘Why’ Purpose

Carving out the path towards finding your company’s true purpose can be daunting. However, as John Doerr stated, truly successful and transformational teams merge their “ambitions to their passion to their purpose.”

Staying committed to a ‘why’ purpose takes determination and strong faith in the company’s mission, principles, and practices. Once the why is identified, the company gets a clear picture of what it wishes to accomplish. Not only does the ‘why’ act as a compass for what the company cares about, but it also inspires the employees to do the same.

Moreover, the ‘why’ question acts as a launch pad for outlining a company’s OKRs. Doerr highlights that while OKRs can tell the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of a business, it also brings into question ‘why’ is it that we need to write OKRs that drive results.

a person holding a compass facing towards greenery

For instance, top search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others decided to have their mission statement as making information accessible and useful. This was their ‘why.’

So, is it easy to find your business purpose? According to Ranjay Gulati, the former head of the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School, there is a key difference between deep purpose and convenient purpose.

A deep purpose is set in stone. It is the daily actions a company must take regardless of the outcomes or obstacles it faces. A convenient purpose can be situational and vulnerable to changing conditions of the company. Only with a profound purpose can a company have a moral and practical guide to reaping benefits, retaining clients, attracting stakeholders, and staying in business, quite literally.

Questions to Ask: How to Find Your ‘Why’ Purpose?

According to Simon Sinek, there are three layers to a business story known as The Golden Circle:

1) Why 2) How 3) What

an image of a concentric circle explains the ‘why’ purpose of a company

Some questions you can ask pertaining to these 3 factors are:

  • What are our core values? What do we stand for? What are our principles?- These questions will help you define your ‘why’
  • What are our strengths and resources at hand? Who is our target audience?- These questions will help you define your ‘how’
  • What is our brand story? What goals matter the most to us? What are the company’s hopes and dreams?- These questions will help define your ‘what’

Thus, finding out the ‘why purpose’ of a company comes from profound reasoning and true passion for the company’s mission. The ‘why’ of a company acts as a guideline for achieving long-term goals. Once you recognise what you do and why you do it, you are driven to continue growing your business. Finally, it must be emphasised that a company without values and services towards its audience/community is unable to grow or contribute to the greater good.

Are you having trouble finding your company’s purpose? Contact us today for free to get expert advice.

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