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When you know why what you do matters, it drives you to keep growing, developing, and getting better. So, how to define your company mission?
Whatever you do professionally, no matter how big or small your business is, it needs to have a purpose. Having clearly defined company values makes it easier to convince potential clients to use your services, but—more importantly—it reminds you and your employees why the work you do is necessary.
There is a TED talk by Simon Sinek (Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action), which talks about organizations’ “why”, sometimes also called the Massive Transformation Purpose or, simply put, a reason for being.
For us, it was clear fairly quickly what it is that we are doing, and how we are doing it. But understanding the purpose that drives us forward, our “why”, took us a bit longer, and required us to look deeper inward as to why we left the corporate world and started Predica. You can find a short story of how we found our “what”, “how” and “why” in our founding story.
Do not be discouraged if it takes longer to find this purpose, it is natural to work it out after some time (in your life as well as at a company). Different experiences and exposure to various challenges are required to fully understand what your “fuel” is. For us, it took about 8 years of building and running Predica to precisely define and name our business culture.
The “what” is what you do, the result of “why”, a proof. First, we need to clarify who we are and what business we are in:
The “what” we do for our customers can be summarized as follows:
Even more important than the “what” is the “what not” that stems directly from the “what”, as its negation. We do not do:
This clear definition of our aims is what keeps us focused. We evaluate every potential project from this angle to determine whether it would be right for both us and the client, and work out the best solution.
“How” is the process, the specific actions you take to realize your “why”. Our “how”, the methods, are simple at their core:
This simple “how” requires us to adopt several behaviors that are not always easy, but we know they are right:
Your “how” will be reflected in your internal processes and procedures but it will also affect the way you establish external partnerships. It’s the basis for your professional quality and integrity.
“Why” is the purpose, the cause—this is what you believe in. Why would we even need such a formulated mission? Organizations like ours (or any, in fact) need it as a compass for strategic or everyday decisions. For us these decisions may be:
The purpose of Predica can be defined as:
We can break it down further:
The best way to explain our company mission is to take it apart and compare it to one of the very well-known and recognized companies, Tesla:
This is it. The core of our being, showing us and those around us what we stand for. Whenever you need to make a difficult or strategic decision, your company mission is where you get your guidance.
The true success of a company’s purpose is in how it is implemented at the micro-level, in the daily grind of everyone involved. Some examples of what we do to get us onto that path include:
Another angle from which to look at the company mission is to see how our work with customers is contributing to it. Let’s take one example—Euromaster, a car retail and service chain in the Nordics.
How does this work contribute to our company mission and customer success:
In the last decade, this approach brought many successes for our customers, employees and partners. But, truth be told, our company mission and value system don’t resonate with everyone. We had our fair share of mis-hires or unsuccessful customer engagements. Many of them can be traced back to some form of misalignment on the purpose and have been great lessons in improving our recruitment and opportunity qualification processes.
However, if what you’ve read here has resonated with you, join the movement as an employee, partner or customer.
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