[eBook] How purpose really affects companies

My friend Mike Freedman and his team in South Africa has been helping organizations with purpose for 20 years. They’ve recently came out with a beautiful report about results from a research they did with their clients. It’s filled with insight and you can find the report at this link directly for free without any sign ups or registration.

Here’s what Mike found out:

While there are some challenges, notably making purpose meaningful to all levels of an organisation, the results are pleasingly positive. The spur to innovation is particularly heartening.


Purpose in the gig economy

Just came across this great read over at Harvard Business Review - The 4 Things You Need to Thrive in the Gig Economy.

The article explains that the most effective independent workers cultivate four types of connections - to place, routines, purpose, and people.

The segment on purpose:

For most people in our study, striking out on their own initially involved doing whatever work would allow them to find a footing in the market. But they were adamant that succeeding means taking only work that clearly connects to a broader purpose. All could articulate why their work, or at least their best work — be it to empower women through film, expose harmful marketing practices, sustain the American folk music tradition, or help corporate leaders succeed with integrity — is more than a means of earning a living. Purpose creates a bridge between their personal interests and motivations and a need in the world. Matthew, for example, said that although at first he felt “a certain desperation around having clients and making an income,” over time his view of success shifted “to one that is a lot about living a life of service to others and making the planet a better place.”

LINK: The 4 Things You Need to Thrive in the Gig Economy

[LINK] Purpose of Lyft

On Lyft’s mission:

Lyft was founded nearly six years ago with the mission to improve people's lives through the world's best transportation.

On vision:

Our vision was to reinvent cities around people, not cars. That vision originated with one of our cofounders, who spent his life in Los Angeles, sitting in traffic and thinking to himself, there has got to be a better way. Our other cofounder truly believed in hospitality and wanted to communicate with and connect people and communities. Together they determined as a human society, there had to be a better way to solve for a traffic pain points and the fact that people sit alone in their cars, travel great distances to work, release emissions and all the downsides of traffic today.

On the subject of Lyft, here are their core values:

  • Be Yourself.
  • Uplift Others.
  • Make It Happen.

Some links referring to their values:

Starting with purpose in a job description

I came across this job posting from Cookpad awhile ago, the leading recipe sharing site in Japan.

I love how the job description starts with their why:

Our purpose at Cookpad is to make everyday cooking fun. Not just because we like food but because we believe that cooking is key to a happier and healthier life for people, communities and the planet.

Everyday, home cooking has a profound impact on ourselves and the world around us: it makes us healthier, connects us with our friends and family, and makes our environment more sustainable. By solving the problems related to everyday cooking and encouraging more people to cook, we believe we can help build a better world.

A great example of how we can start with why in all facets of communication we do.


You do not invent a higher purpose; you discover it.

From the feature article, Creating a Purpose-driven Organization of Harvard Business Review July-August 2018 issue about discovering purpose:

At a global oil company, we once met with members of a task force asked by the CEO to work on defining the organization’s purpose. They handed us a document representing months of work; it articulated a purpose, a mission, and a set of values. We told them it had no power—their analysis and debate had produced only platitudes.

Continuing on how purpose should be discovered:

The members of the task force had used only their heads to invent a higher purpose intended to capture employees’ hearts. But you do not invent a higher purpose; it already exists. You can discover it through empathy—by feeling and understanding the deepest common needs of your workforce. That involves asking provocative questions, listening, and reflecting.

And love this bit on the rising tide of purpose:

Purpose has become a popular topic. Even leaders who don’t believe in it face pressure from board members, investors, employees, and other stakeholders to articulate a higher purpose.

And just one more highlight about the power of purpose:

By connecting people with a sense of higher purpose, leaders can inspire them to bring more energy and creativity to their jobs. When employees feel that their work has meaning, they become more committed and engaged. They take risks, learn, and raise their game.

A wonderful and insightful issue of Harvard Business Review. Be sure to check it out.

And it’s always good to remind ourselves and repeatedly ask ourselves:

What’s our higher purpose?