Over the last thirty-five years, Roy Spence has helped organizations such as Southwest Airlines, BMW, the University of Texas, Walmart, the Clinton Global Initiative, and many others achieve greatness by getting them to obsess about one big idea: purpose. With purpose as the North Star, employee engagement is higher, competition is less threatening, customers are more loyal, and innovation flows. It’s the secret to developing a more fulfilling work life as well as a healthier bottom line.
Simply put, purpose is a definitive statement about the difference you are trying to make in the world. As Spence writes, “It’s your reason for being that goes beyond making money—and it almost always results in making more money than you ever thought possible.” It’s not “soft stuff,” as some might scoff. Especially during times of great economic uncertainty, purpose is the key to creating and maintaining a high-performing organization. It deserves just as much attention as strategy, execution, and innovation.
“It’s refreshing to read about an ad agency (GSDM) encouraging companies to stand for something beyond the products they advertise. He identifies the purpose behind some of his clients businesses. For example, he points to Herb Keller at Southwest Airlines “giving people the freedom to fly”, BMW “enabling people to experience the joy of driving”, and Walmart “saving people money so they can live better”. It’s great to see additional confirmation of the premise that “purpose powers profits”. “