Picked up a new book this week.  Interesting stuff.  Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies  Built on an interesting premise, that "purpose is preparation for doing what is right and what is worthwhile.  As such it creates a sense of obligation…a way of knowing what you can and can’t do."  Further, "because purpose provides certainty, it also provides confidence.  All of this comes together to contribute to a firm’s competitive advantage, ‘Do the right thing and do it well.’"

Can you see how that fits into most of what we talk about here?  Long before you develop strategy, goals, objectives, and performance measures, you probably begin to do things out of a sense of purpose.  It’s probably not even in the front of your mind in the beginning.  Later you might realize that you’re supposed to have a mission statement.  You might even know you’re supposed to have vision and values.  But before all of that, or underneath all of that, must develop purpose.

Do you buy that?

By the way, Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies has a fantastic critical bibliography.  Some great references right there.

Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies
  • Pat Graham

    I just ran across the book today and found it very interesting. Big picture compelling. His treatment of employee morale was esp. thought-provoking: built on 4 items: rewards, tasks, community, purpose.