7 Questions to Test your Core Purpose

By Tiffany Chepul

dateFri, Sep 14, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

You and your team have been hard at work identifying your Core Purpose - your company's reason for question_markbeing- 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?

Use this 7 Question Test:

  • Fire your Best? Would you fire your best performer if they do not agree with this purpose?
  • Take a Financial Hit?  Are you willing to walk away from a customer, investor or partner that will cause you to deviate from this purpose?
  • Passionate?  If you won the lottery, would this purpose motivate you to still come to work and be involved?  Work toward a purpose statement that connects with the heart of your people and motivates them.
  • Describes deliverables or customer segment?  Is your purpose simply a statement about your current products, service or customers?
  • About Making Money?  Is your purpose about making money, profit or maximizing shareholder value?
  • Strategy?  Is the purpose a restatement of strategy (i.e., serving great food, writing great software)?
  • Specific Goals?  Is your purpose about achieving specific goals in the business over time?  Be careful not to confuse Core Purpose with BHAG.

So how did your Core Purpose statement fare?  Here are some examples of effective Core Purpose statements to help you as well:

  • Facebook:  To Make the World More Open and Connected
  • Disney:  To Make Families Happy
  • MobilityWorks:  Making the World Accessible
  • Rhythm Systems:  Change the world one entrepreneur at a time. 

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Tiffany Chepul


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