This page is paraphrased from Jim Collins' Core Purpose Breakout Session.
"The secret of success is constancy to purpose."
- Benjamin Disraeli
"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
- Robert Byrne
Ask each of these questions for your purpose statement. If you answer no to any of them, you haven't found your purpose yet!
- Do you find this purpose personally inspiring?
- Can you envision this purpose being as valid 100 years from now as it is today?
- Does the purpose help you think expansively about the long-term possibilities and range of activities the organization can consider over the next 100 years, beyond its current products, services, markets, industries, and strategies?
- For example, Disney's purpose to make people happy helped propel the company from its initial strategy of cartoons into full-length feature animation, the Mickey Mouse Club, Disneyland, EPCOT Center, and so on.
- Does the purpose help you to decide what activities to not pursue, to eliminate from consideration?
- For example, HP would not pursue markets where there were no opportunities to make a technical contribution.
- Is this purpose authentic—something true to what the organization is all about—not merely words on paper that “sound nice”?
- Would this purpose be greeted with enthusiasm rather than cynicism by a broad base of people in the organization?
- When telling your children and/or other loved ones what you do for a living, would you feel proud in describing your work in terms of this purpose?