Why do we need to talk about Purpose?

Mission statements are often backed up by core values of people behaviours, but the purpose if often missed. Where company Purpose Statements are found they are often based from the owners’ point of view (need to increase revenue etc.). The Purpose should be designed around the voice of the customer in the same way Lean Value is defined.

When asking the Purpose question, the high level Purpose must be considered first, then lower levels in the organisations will link their Purpose statements to the higher lever statement. This is sometimes called a Purpose Pyramid.

Once the true Purpose has been established from the customers point of view then the following can be considered:

  • What is the output of the business and does it meet the Purpose?
  • Does the demand from the customer or supplier align to the Purpose?

These are two very important questions as the answer will establish if the Purpose is from the customer or the owner and if the demand is served in the correct area. Quite often the demand is met by the wrong service area and this can cause waste.

A recent workshop with a service that looked after internal travel claims had a Purpose Statement of;

Save money and prevent fraud

This was clearly not Value to the customer and was an enforced Purpose by the owner. The Purpose statement from the customer may be:

Process my travel claims right first time as quickly as possible

When the output was checked the customer Purpose was not met and the demand was not always required due to the extra steps required to meet the wrong Purpose.

So it is clear than an inaccurate Purpose statement can lead to the wrong service provision. This can be disastrous for your business and costly to put right. Castlefirth specialise in aligning purpose to