One of Peter Drucker’s great lines is that "the purpose of a business is to create a customer."  Originally found in 1954’s The Practice of Management, this true truth of life is an important one for all of us.  In Managing for Results he expands the notion this way:

"The purpose [of a business] is to provide something for which an independent outsider, who can choose not to buy, is willing to exchange his purchasing power (p. 91)."

Now, think about what that means for all of us.  You can argue all you want about the purpose of your organization.  You can dream up really elegant language to express what it is.  But isn’t it true that at the end of the day if it doesn’t make sense to the people you’re trying to reach…if it doesn’t sound like something they’d like to have…it’s just not going to happen.  Right?

And truthfully, you can have the most pure motivations, you can be as idealistic as you’d like, but if you’re not providing something that actually has a customer…you’re really just kidding yourself.  Right?

So…the actual question is…does your organization actually provide something that independent outsiders want?  Makes you think…right?

The Purpose of Your Organization
  • What a great question, Mark. Drucker’s pithy wisdom withstands the test of time–every time.
    This is especially meaningful as I am in the process of re-doing the company website and asking questions related to the Drucker one. It’s the only way to get to the heart of the business.
    Thanks for taking time to Druckerize the conversation.
    BTW: I am now down with the John Butler Trio. Blew me away.

  • That’s great! Send me a link when you finish your website makeover. We’ll want to see what you do!