The Purpose of Business (p.s. It's not what you think)
Last spring we rebranded our ‘Culture’ page on our website as ‘Purpose’. Culture of course is still in it—that page still has all of our cultural information. Brent Warwick, our Lead Partner and fearless field marshall says, “...what I want to do is take this idea of culture—which is a statement or an observation of what is, as is—and I want to make it more intentional. Add a layer of intentionality where it is more prescriptive. That is, 'here’s our culture, but more importantly, here’s our purpose behind that culture.’"
In other words, why we do what we do beyond just our culture, beyond just the What’s and the Who’s. As he explains in the below video interview, we touch on those things in our business philosophy and community philosophy pages, but we wanted to root ourselves deeper.
Because of this purpose we’ve moved towards this mantra: “the purpose of business is to help humans flourish.”
We’re setting up shop around this mantra because the story is bigger than web design, development, marketing, branding, or video creation. In every engagement, even if someone doesn’t choose to work with us, they are going to hear straight out of the gate:
“The purpose of business is not to maximize shareholder value. The purpose of business is to help humans flourish.”
Whether we end up collaborating or not, our tribe will hear that message.
A strong sense of mission like this drives businesses, and business is an incredible driving force for social change in the world.
(I hope) we can all think of workplaces where the most vulnerable to marginalization are well cared of. Where the people who could easily be seen and treated solely as units of production are seen as human and treated with dignity and honor.
The place where...
...the janitor is flourishing.
...you’d think the receptionist was the most important person in the room given how they’re treated.
...interns or volunteers are overflowing from all the care the organization is cultivating within them.
We can all think of the times when the simplest engagement or touch of an organization made you walk away feeling like it was not merely a transaction, but rather a transformation experience. This was likely due to a well cared for employees and solid culture rooted in a meaningful purpose.
It is these micro-engagements, compounded over time, where true change happens—where raving fans are made. It starts and ends at the most human level; it is where we have the most power to make the otherwise inhuman transaction a human transformation.
Building a following of raving fans is clearly a result of a strong sense of purpose within your team.
So we ask ourselves this guiding question, and we encourage you to do the same:
Even if a potential client chooses not to work with us, how do we craft every interaction to push them closer to who they were created to be?