Today I sat in on two corporate functions. I won’t give out names, so let’s call them by their first letter: M and Ü.
Both companies pitched their positioning “Purpose Statement”. The primary goals of a purpose statement are:
- to help align team focus, and
- to guide decision making (especially during hard times)
Here is M’s purpose:
“We power people to live their best lives.”
Here is Ü’s purpose:
“Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone.”
You might have guessed by now who Ü is.
M, on the other hand, is a complete mystery. Their mission could be (and often is) applied to just about any business.
Their purpose statement utterly fails in its goal, because it’s far too broad. With this purpose, I can justify doing almost anything. When hard decisions need to be made, a generic, unspecific purpose statement is vague and useless.
Ü, on the other hand, has deftly navigated troubled waters, because it remains focused on a very specific point on the horizon.
We need our purpose to be crisp and precise. It should be relevant specifically to our business.
Could your company’s purpose be crispier?