When starting a new venture, it is common to think about the product or service (What), the way it is going to be sold (How) and the purpose of its existence (Why). Although this seems pretty obvious and straightforward, is it really the best way?
Simon Sinek doesn’t seem to think so, and I fully agree. In his talk “Start with why”, Sinek explains why it is more important for ventures to turn the questions around and start with the purpose of a company and its values (Why). His reasoning is that if your company has a strong sense for its existence, it will then attract likeminded employees and customers to create a feeling of belonging that is altogether much stronger than any relationship achieved through a regular product or service.
It gets interesting when we take this one step further and look into the “How”. Because companies have a clear purpose that people align to, they in turn don’t have to worry too much about how they interact with their client. In fact, they will actually say how they like to be approached (or at least will tell you honestly if they are bothered with the way you do). It is rare to find businesses that are clear, straightforward and transparent with their clients and this, coupled with a strong, clear purpose will allow you to stick out.
Lastly we come to the “What,” which is the actual product or service you are offering. This can change a lot, be extended or even shift completely. For example, the first purpose I came up with was “Show people that work can be fun.” Based on this clear sense of why I was going to do something and my background in software, I decided to develop a project management tool which helped managers as well as people to enjoy their work (http://genba.io – User: guest – Pass: $guest$). Although I still believe this project will become important for BEYA in the future, I realized that the better way to bring my purpose to fruition was by going into consulting, coaching and training.
Having worked on a new “What” by always staying true to my “Why” has not only allowed me to stay on track with my ultimate vision, but has allowed me to make many interesting business contacts and project proposals. Even if you are not starting from scratch, understanding the purpose of your organization is a guiding principle for self-directed work since employees know what to do and can take decisions independently. Therefore in my opinion, having a clear sense of your companies purpose and values is one of the biggest assets you can have.
Find below the revised purpose and values of BEYA:
“The purpose and mission of BEYA is
to provide training, coaching, consulting and software
to make work more enjoyable for as many people as possible”
- Purpose: follow the purpose to help people to reach their full potential and inspire and support them to change the world
- Cooperation: work together with internal and external partners to fulfill the purpose of the company
- Transparency: share information freely so everyone benefits and can take decisions
- Empowerment: do what you think is best (for the organization to supports its purpose)
- Experimentation: try new things continuously and learn from mistakes