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Company Purpose: Intentional or Dysfunctional?

This is what makes a purpose-driven company so unique: The words in mission and value statements are supported by actions that drive behavior. Company culture is ultimately (and simply) defined as "the way things are done around here." As actions and behaviors define the culture of a company, it would be wise to do this in a purposeful way. Companies that don't pay attention to culture or view it as unimportant will by default create an atmosphere that could be described as "dysfunctional."

If you have a company that has been in business for several years, it will be helpful to reflect on what your purpose is today and what you intended it to be when you started it. An important part of the marketing planning process is reflecting on past results and taking a series of small incremental steps to improve based on the new knowledge acquired throughout the process.

If you have already defined a vision, a mission, and values for your company, ask yourself if they are still relevant or if they need to change. Ideally, a company's mission and value statements stand the test of time; however, if you feel the statements do not accurately reflect where you are going today, now is the time to change them. The first few years of an entrepreneur's business tend to evolve opportunistically; therefore, it's extremely valuable to step back and evaluate whether your businesses is heading in the intended direction. Ask: "Have I communicated my company purpose so everyone understands where we are headed and why?" If not, this is your opportunity to create a solid foundation for the business. The future success and growth of your business depends on its purpose, so take time to complete this important first step in the planning process. As your marketing plan develops, you will see that purpose drives your marketing and business strategies.

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