Why Purpose is Everything

Purpose-driven is a bit of a business buzzword right now, and not just because it sounds nice. It turns out doing good is good for companies’ bottom lines. Purpose-driven companies are getting great results.

Seventy-nine percent of customers in the U.S. say that purpose-driven brands inspire their loyalty. Internally, purpose can play a big part in both attracting and retaining top talent: Millennials who have a personal connection to their company’s purpose are 5.3 times more likely to stay at their current place of employment.  

But what is being tied to purpose?

It’s not just bolting-on to someone else’s purpose. Putting a few percentage points of your profit to an ever-changing cause is a nice thing to do, but it’s not going to transform your company or inspire your team. And purpose isn’t just reserved for the nonprofit sector. For-profit companies can change the world by operating out of strong principles.

Truly purpose-driven companies embed that why in their DNA and live it every day, inside their walls and out. Their purpose is innate in who they are. It’s their reason for being and informs every decision they make.

They commit to their purpose, even when it’s hard to carry it out. They have the character and fortitude to treat people with respect and do what’s right, even in the face of financial strain. They help people thrive, solve hard problems and do well with the gifts they’ve been given.

Fervor both partners with purpose-driven organizations and strives to be a purpose-driven organization.

The human spirit wants to be connected to something bigger than themselves. We love working with companies who see a purpose beyond profit. Companies who are intentional about who they serve and why.

Shelterwood is a great example. They are a residential treatment agency for teenagers who are dealing with serious issues. These guys offer great therapeutic results and solid, accredited education. But they also bank on an additional faith component—that can seem risky to some. But they’ve been doing this for more than 30 years now and are still going strong.

Mahaney Roofing is another purpose-driven company we work with. They are committed to making sure every family who works for them lives above the poverty line. They provide leadership development and financial literacy programs for their employees. What an investment in their culture, in change and in purpose.  

Both of these companies are playing in the purpose deep-end, and we’re lucky to be a part of their stories. We can’t inject purpose into a company, but we can help articulate, execute and grow that purpose.

The largest difference we see in serving purpose-driven organizations is the need for much more internal communications. We believe in winning on the inside first. If companies don’t hire the right people, if they don’t define their core principles, they can’t live out their purpose and win in the marketplace. They have to be good inside—almost before they can be good outside.

We find ourselves working on internal communications and procedural culture adaptations as much as we find ourselves working externally. That’s a paramount need for those who are committed to purpose. The messaging has to be real and authentic inside and outside.

We love the process of digging in and lining up on values—it’s really hard to talk about values you don’t have, you’ve never heard of, or are even counter to! It takes time, attention and the right team to become a purpose-driven company’s voice.

Want to learn more about becoming a purpose-driven company? Here are some resources that have helped us get even more intentional about our work and our partnerships:

  • Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want From Your Business by Gino Wickman
  • Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
  • The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Looking for a partner who gets your purpose? We want to hear what you’re all about. Let’s start the purpose-driven conversation!