IE Online Seminar: Finding your higher purpose to survive and thrive in crazy times

April 14, 2020 at Online Seminar (at 1700 UK Time)

This is a free online seminar in partnership with IE Business School’s Executive Education team.

Find out more and sign up: Finding your higher purpose to survive and thrive in these crazy times.

  • 57% of the world’s largest companies – including Apple and Disney, GE and MTV – were founded in a downturn, seizing the opportunity of rapidly changing markets, new consumer attitudes and behaviours, to establish new approaches to business
  • An inspiring purpose becomes your guide through the chaos and uncertainty of turbulent times, your North Star to guide you in markets where you could do anything, to give your people inspiration and focus, and a cause worth fighting for.
  • Why does your business exist? IKEA wants to create a better everyday life. Tesla seeks to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Dove helps women to realise their potential. Swarovski adds sparkle to everyday lives.
  • Purposeful companies outperform others by 42%. They are more ambitious, faster and more agile, more trusted, attract talent, increase loyalty, and attract investment. 79% of business leaders say purpose matters, 68% don’t have one or don’t use it.
  • Creating an inspiring purpose is just the start. Find out how to turn it into meaningful concepts and profitable strategies, how to use it to inspire and energise your investors, employees and customers, and how to make smarter decisions for future growth.

Finding more purpose

So why does your business exist?

Purpose defines what the business contributes to the world, or equally, why the world would be a lesser place if the business did not exist.

Purpose creates an enduring cause which the business is willing to fight for. For some this might be an urgent call to action, for others it might be a more personal inspiration. Saving then planet, or achieving your potential, with Nike, or seeking happiness, with Coca Cola.

Tesla exists to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”, Starbucks to “inspire the human spirit”, Dove to “help the next generation of women realise their potential”, Microsoft to “empower people to achieve more”, and Swarovski to “add sparkle to people’s everyday lives.”

Purpose creates a richer sense of meaning in your business, inspiring employees to raise their game, to transform and grow themselves and the organisation. It encourages a strategic focus, to rise above the distractions of today, to align on bigger goals and to innovate more radically. Productivity and performance typically follow.

It is a cause shared internally and externally, that investors want to be part of, partners want to align with, and customers want to promote through their consumption and loyalty.

Purpose goes far beyond the old mission and vision statements, which were largely internal mantras, about how good the company wanted to be – “the best”, “the industry leader”, “to maximise performance”. Purpose is much more altruistic and inclusive. It is about what the inside does for the outside world. It sits above other ambitions, and should probably replace them, as an inspiring, single-minded intent.

If purpose is “why we exist?”, then mission is more about “what do we do?” and vision is  “where are we going?”. Or as Ashley Grice the CEO of Brighthouse says “When you go to bed at night and you are worried about something, that is generally your mission. But when you wake up in the morning and you are excited about something, that’s your purpose?”

Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard drop-put who spent his student years in pursuit of a Face Mash tool to explore the opposite sex, returned to the Boston campus recently with a new sense of purpose. “Today I want to talk about purpose, but not some kind of grand speech on how to find it. We’re millennials. We’ll try to do that instinctively. Instead, I’m here to tell you finding your purpose isn’t enough.”

“The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. One of my favorite stories is when John F. Kennedy visited the NASA space center, he saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded: ‘Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.’Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

More inspiration from Peter Fisk:

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