The title of this blog post is the gut wrenching, eye-opening question that every business must consider if they are to make a difference.
I’ve found over the years that most business owners are motivated by the fact that they can make a difference with their business. It may not always start that way, but over time, and through conscious consideration, a higher purpose often evolves.
But how do you bring that higher purpose to the entire organization? How do you make it the focus of why you do what you do?
My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and author of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
In our interview Mackey shares his most important idea about purpose. “First off, business is not zero sum game – it creates values when everyone wins – all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, investors, and the community at large.”
So, how do you find purpose in your business?
Do a purpose search.
Bring some small group of all of your stakeholders together and let them tell you – Why the world needs your business or the difference you are currently making. This could be an incredibly powerful set of meetings and it just might inspire a totally new and motivating direction for your entire organization.
In his book Mackey’s cites dozens of examples of companies that are doing well by doing good and outlines a plan for finding purpose, developing conscious leadership, creating systems intelligence and building community based on mutual benefit.
Purpose is, in my opinion, the most potent value proposition you can create. It’s how you make a difference and differentiate in the same breath.