BIZTALK: Understanding your ‘why’ and setting a clear vision
Naomi Simson joins Northern Star as a guest columnist for our latest series, Business Class.
IN BUSINESS we have heard about the importance of aligning the team, stakeholders and customers to the core 'purpose' of a business; the 'why' the business operates.
And while this all sounds very simple, often people confuse purpose with the mission, vision, or even the goals of the business.
They all have an important role, but each is very different in its use. So what's what?
Purpose statements - Why you do what you do
The purpose of a business is to make a difference in the world (it is about how you make life better for others through whatever it is you do). Being really clear on why we do what we do is a powerful driver that can be used to align all teams in a business.
Eg: We create value for business owners. What we do inspires leadership, thriving workplaces and commercial outcomes for our clients.
Vision statements - Living in the future and declaring how life is now different
The vision of a business creates a vivid image of what your world will be like once you have done what you do. It has a destination in mind. Being really clear on painting this picture is a powerful driver that will have your teams singing from the same song sheet.
Eg: Imagine when one million business owners are commercially successful, and the lifeblood of a growing economy, because of the work we do.
Mission statements - How you are going to achieve your purpose
A mission statement is a declaration of how you intend to get the work done. It is all about the way you work and the expectations you have to get the job done.
Eg: We are ordinary people delivering extraordinary results for our customers. We do our best work and are therefore proud of our contribution.
Goal statements - What does success look like?
This is numeric and time bound. Eg: By 2025 we will have served two million customers.
After more than two decades in business, I have found the best way to create purpose is to understand the job you are being hired to do. That is, the role you play in the lives of your customers that creates an emotional connection to your brand. There is no better way to establish this connection than to listen to customer calls, visit customers or create a customer advisory board.
They key is to stay curious and always ask that key question, 'why?'
Naomi Simson is the founder of RedBalloon, and the co-founder of The Big Red Group, the third largest experience marketplace in the world. She is the author of two best sellers, Live What You Love and Ready To Soar, and appeared on Shark Tank for four seasons. In this series we present some of her key learnings on how she grew her businesses.