What is the purpose of having a company purpose? This is the second edition of a monthly newsletter by Lisa Carlin. The newsletter is called the Unicorn Zone, and it is about digital business transformation, culture and workplace technology.

What’s the purpose of having a Company Purpose?

Is company purpose a useless management fad?

I’m sceptical of management fads and jargon, as so many “new” ideas and terminology are mostly re-packaged old ideas. Remember those Vision statements that have been around for decades? Is Company Purpose just the re-packaging of a “Vision”?

The fact is, whether they are explicitly aware or not, people have a personal purpose, which is why we bother to get out of bed in the morning. If you aren’t sure about your own purpose, read my previous newsletter on the 9 steps to developing your personal purpose. Recent McKinsey research found that about 70 percent of people say they define their purpose through work (Naina Dhingra, McKinsey 2021). This means that more people will be drawn to your company if they identify with its purpose.

Since Covid, we have seen the great resignation, the “Great Attrition”, skills shortage. With this comes the importance of inspiring our people, so that they love our company culture so much that don’t want to leave our organisation.

So yes, your Purpose statement is a more contemporary term for a Vision statement. It also needs to be more powerful, more inspiring, and more meaningful in our current operating environment. They are then an important part of your commercial toolkit for hypergrowth.

Once you have defined your purpose statement it will guide everything you do:

…….Purpose will help you refine your strategy.

……Purpose aligns teams to pull in the same direction.

…….Purpose strengthens culture.

……..Purpose energizes your people.

………Purpose inspires customers.

Your purpose makes the world want you to win.

If you’re developing your purpose statement, take a look at the purpose statements from companies in your industry. Here are some examples, mostly from workplace tech and HR companies. Spot the odd one out! Let me know what you think of these statements in the comments. Would they be meaningful to you if you worked in the business? Would they inspire you as a customer? Which one inspires you best?


I talked about purpose during my recent seminar at the Spark Festival. View the YouTube recording:

Contact me if you want to hold a #designthinking workshop with your team to develop your purpose.


If you’re curious about the OD Hive, please click here and register for the waitlist. I will invite you to a trial session as soon as there is a spot available for you in your time zone. See my newly launched page, the OD Hive.

We provide a forum for warm, inspiring conversations that generate useful ideas, and a deepening of skills, relationships and mutual appreciation. We give members the confidence that they are on top of the latest in their field, can cut through the noise out there, and can apply the insights in practice. Members are organizational development (OD) practitioners and transformation specialists who are interested in change, digital transformation and business innovation.

I promise if you register here, you’ll get to meet some fabulous people.

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See my newly launched page, the OD Hive


About Lisa Carlin

As a scaleup mentor, Lisa works with ambitious digital leaders to turbo-charge their business, cultural and digital transformation. Those working with Lisa have an independent sounding board and expert advice so they have absolute confidence they WILL ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL. Lisa is Co-Founder and Director of FutureBuilders Group of organisational development specialists, Chair of the University of Cape Town Australia Trust, and on the Advisory Board of Rebelliuz, the Tiktok for jobs. Lisa runs an Organizational Development Community exploring leading edge ideas in digital transformation, culture change and business innovation. Her early career was with Accenture (South Africa) and McKinsey (USA).

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