“I’m so excited to go to work today! I can’t wait to make lots and lots of money for my company so our CEO can take his family on more fancy ski vacations!” Yeah, right! This is not what your employees are thinking… trust me. Most companies spend a lot of time thinking about employee engagement and how to motivate their people to do their best work. Truthfully, having a meaningful Core Purpose (not just making money) that your employees (and your customers) can connect with is the foundation for building a culture where everyone is inspired to do their best work every day.
Rhythm Blog | Core purpose
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
AvidXchange, a long time Rhythm client, recently told me a story about how their culture made the difference in accelerating sales. A prospect was considering AvidXchange’s AvidPay solution along with other competitors. Then they visited AvidXchange and met various team members from different departments who would service them if they decided to work with AvidXchange. After their visit, they decided that they were ready to go with AvidXchange. They were very impressed with the people and the culture. “We can’t wait to work with your team and cannot imagine being serviced by a better team!"
I recently attended the 2014 Secret Service Summit all about how to create a customer experience that is so valuable that price becomes irrelevant. In my opinion, one of the best speakers was Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness. His main premise was that we cannot expect our customers to love us if our employees don’t. The world class customer experience starts with designing a world class employee experience.
The elements of your core strategy (your Core Purpose, Core Values, and Core Customer) are foundational for your success. If you don’t have this core firmly established and embedded in your organization, how can you expect to grow with purpose?
Purposeful growth depends upon having these elements of your strategy come to life in your company rather than discussing them once in a strategy planning session only to put them on a shelf or display them on a wall somewhere, never to be thought about again.
As a Rhythm Coach, I’ve seen many Core Purposes come and go. Some would knock your socks off. Others I’ve already forgotten. While on a recent call with one of my CEOs, he said, “You’ve been on me about Core Purpose for four years and I finally got it!”
To protect the guilty and the innocent (as Patrick says), I won’t use a company name. I will say they do amazing things that improve people’s lives dramatically. Their clients love them and the product/service they provide.
Jim Collins refers to your Core Purpose as your company’s reason for being. It answers the big question WHY? “Why do we exist as a business?” “What is our deeper purpose and meaning?” “Why are we passionate about the work we do?”
In his famous HBR article “Building your Company’s Vision,” Jim Collins describes a good Core Purpose as one that could last for 100 years and is not descriptive of specific financial goals, business strategies, market segments or product lines. He advises that while “you might achieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfill a purpose; it is like a guiding star on the horizon – forever pursued but never reached.”
How do you know if you have the right strategy to grow your business AND enjoy the journey along the way?
I recently attended the Fortune Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida and had the opportunity to hear some phenomenal speakers share their thoughts on a variety of topics. The one that topped my list was given by Dr. Jim Loehr. Jim is the author of “The Power of Full Engagement” and “The Only Way to Win.” I think the reason his talk hit home is that I have always been interested in trying to achieve balance in life - notice I said trying - and maintaining a fitness regimen to perform at my personal best.
Peter Drucker stated that ”the best and most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers, for they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.”
You and your team have been hard at work identifying your Core Purpose - your company's reason for being- the "why" behind what you do. You started with a descriptive statement (we make X products, we deliver X services), asked why 5 times and arrived at a Core Purpose statement that speaks to the true motivation for your work. So how do you know it's right?