The Starting Point

The Starting Point

Arguably the most important understanding a business must have is purpose. The most successful organizations have clear, succinctly articulated reasons for being.

A clear purpose provides the foundation for which virtually all other major decisions can be prioritized and addressed. Across an enterprise, a clear purpose will influence hiring priorities, cultural values, products developed, markets served, acquisitions considered, etc.

Understanding Why

Organizations lacking this most fundamental understanding risk coming up short in each of these areas and, over time, this will inevitably inhibit an organization’s growth. In certain extreme cases, this can also lead to the dissolution of the enterprise.

Establishing a purpose early may seem unnecessary, too difficult, or even a waste of precious time, but dedicating constructive thought towards one will inevitably lead to extraordinary improvements in both efficiency and effectiveness.

For existing businesses that haven’t taken the time, today would be a great time to establish your purpose.

Don’t over-complicate it. I recommend keeping two criteria in mind. Your purpose should be:

  1. Broad enough to stand the test of time
  2. Simple enough that everyone in the organization can understand, and most importantly apply to decisions across the enterprise

For inspiration, some perfect examples include:

· Nike - To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*if you have a body, you are an athlete)

· Disney - To create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere

· Starbucks - To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Today, it may be difficult to imagine these organizations as small businesses, but each did start that way…each also centered a culture on a purpose that has guided their organizations throughout their remarkable existence.

I’m interested in all constructive thoughts on the topic, so please share/comment as you see fit.

For a confidential conversation on purpose or strategic planning for your business, please email me at

This publication contains general information only and FocalPoint is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services.


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