A core purpose is the reason an organisation exists. It’s a brief statement that anyone can read and think “yep, got it. I know exactly what they’re up to.” The less words the better.
For example, Facebook’s core purpose is ‘to make the world more open and transparent’. Whether you like Facebook or not, right now there are over 750 million active users sharing more than 30 billion pieces of content every month, the world is more open and transparent compared with pre-FB (before Facebook). Their core purpose makes sense.
Our core purpose at The Physio Co is ‘to help oldies stay mobile, safe & happy.’ Those eight words have been amazingly powerful in aligning our team and growing our business. Potential team members immediately know that physio for aged care resi’s is our thing. Just as importantly, our clients love that we are completely focussed on oldies (we’re not trying to be everything to everyone).
Now, just because a core purpose is short doesn’t make it easy to define. It took me close to a year to draft, re-draft, ask for feedback, think some more, start again, get more feedback and finally cut our core purpose down from about fifteen words. But, it is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done.
In my experience, a core purpose is more succinct and powerful than either a vision or mission statement (because a lot of mission/vision statements are crap). A core purpose that clearly defines exactly why an organisation exists is a powerful legacy a leader can leave. It sets the path for others to follow.
Do you have a core purpose? Do you know what it is? If so, is your core purpose short, sharp and self explanatory? (Your answers should be yes, yes & yes).