Most leaders are unaware that there are four distinct types of purpose statements.
As a result, often their teams are misaligned.
Make no mistake: such misalignment ripples through everything your team builds. It slows your team down or, even worse, can pull a team apart.
And this fundamentally impacts your customer’s experience.
What Is Missing?
We all know about Mission, Vision and Values statements. These are all a critical part of an organization’s North Star.
Yet, like billboards on the daily commute, people tune them out.
Why? Because these statements:
- Aren’t operational.
- Aren’t directly connected to your system-of-customers (What? Yes, it’s a system…).
- Don’t clarify the value proposition you develop, sell and deliver.
- Don’t operationally align a team in the throes of disruptive change.
When I realized this, I understood why Mission, Vision and Values statements fail to energize - and offer guidance - to teams facing disruptive change.
I realized what's missing is a fourth kind of purpose statement, Operational Purpose.
The Anatomy Of Purpose
I’ve discovered that there is an anatomy to purpose. Here's a quick overview.
(You can learn more in the video series linked below.)
A well-designed purpose has all four statements mentioned: Vision, Mission, Values and Operational Purpose.
If your team can discuss, draft, align and use these four different statements as living documents, then they can hold formation and drive transformative change.
- Mission – What promise of value is your reason for being? The focus here is to describe your team’s winning idea that drives growth and return.
- Vision – What inspiring outcome(s) will occur from serving your mission perfectly? The focus here is to make a declaration out loud that connects emotionally and spiritually (in a non-religious way) and energizes employees, vendors, investors and others.
- Values – To accomplish your mission and vision, what do you choose to believe and how do you choose to behave? The focus here is to make commitments that set the trajectory of the business culture that you want to build.
- Operational Purpose – What core activities are essential to serving current and future customers? The focus here is to clarify the key activities and roles required to serve your customers. It is for all players on your team to have a clear line-of-sight to your customer’s experience.
Together, these four kinds of purpose statements are a framework to guide the nature, direction and alignment of your team.
In this short video (and 3 that follow), listen in as I walk a pharmaceutical CEO through the anatomy of purpose - and how an Operational Purpose will help him quickly pivot in a changing market.
Please let me know what you think!