Know Thyself – What is Your Core Purpose?

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What do you care about? What drives you?

These questions are essential to a company: a company is not a soulless thing, it is a collection of individuals so understanding why we do what we do is incredibly important.

A core purpose drives everything else: mission, vision and values, culture and strategy, business model, who comes to work with and for us, and our understanding of our audience or customer.

Most importantly, if we know our core purpose, the company can flex and adapt to changing circumstances and opportunities to deliver that purpose. It is ultimately about resilience.

For example, Kielder Observatory’s core purpose is infinite inspiration. We talk a lot about the “Kielder moment”, a moment of pure inspiration that visitors experience. Our core purpose is not limited to Kielder, how can we deliver that in schools and communities, via digital channels etc., in a way that delivers value to our customers and meets our charitable objects?

How do you find it? With a simple question – what do you care about? Be ambitious, aspirational. Don’t worry about the how – this is the why.

Once you have an idea of purpose, next is mission, vision and values:

  • Mission – by far the simplest way of writing a mission statement comes courtesy of Pascal Fintoni: “we help who do what, with what result?”. Try it, it really does work!
  • Vision – if you achieve your mission, what happens? A vision statement is a future-oriented declaration of that success.
  • Values – we’ve all seen value statements that seem inauthentic. However, they are good to have in place so we can hold each other accountable to them, and they can inform future development.

These are the things that will drive a company’s development, through thick and thin. It’s worth spending some time thinking them through.

Once we know ourselves, the next step is to know others.

If you need help with any of this and you are a sole trader or a business in the creative sector in the North of Tyne Combined Area, please get in touch.

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