A friend of
mine called me a few days ago and wanted to talk about his new venture. I am
happy for him. No question that it is a big decision in some ways for him. The
question came up was "why", is it about money or is it about creating
something. What is the strategy?
I asked him
about his "purpose". He was a little surprised as he expected me to
ask him about the strategy. I said to him "purpose" is bigger than
"strategy". Much bigger. At best, strategy is just a number of smart decisions
or tactics or some clever ways to play with the economics of the value chain.
But purpose is different, it is a journey. Strategies
are about means; they cannot be an end in themselves. An end is a reason.
Many companies today are not lacking strategies, they lack a reason--they lack
One time when my friend Lee Feldman talked about how his company should be
about People, Profits and Planet, there's no question that it was inspiring and
I can see how that can become the purpose of any organization today. He is an
intelligent man. Purpose is crucial because of its scope and ubiquity. It is
large, much larger than any other elements in a business model or
organizational design. It is much more involving. It is a choice to pursue your
destiny--the ultimate destination for yourself and
the organization you and your partners founded... It draws equally upon
your emotional commitment and intellectual whole--it calls upon everything you
are, everything you've experienced and everything you believe in.
How many leaders out there today can talk
intelligently (and authentically) about "Purpose"? Purpose is
all that successful CEOs need to talk about--although they may not actually
usually use the word itself. If you have that and commonly share that with your
employees, that you are destined to be great. I hope this piece can inspire
those who are starting their companies and are about to embark on the journey
finding that "purpose". More next week.
Original post: http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground/2007/06/from-ideas-to-s.html