Companies exist for a reason, but the reason isn’t always made apparent right from the surface or ever achieved within the organization.
It only takes looking back a few years to see this reality in place. Nokia dominated the mobile phone market only 10 years ago in 2007 and used their motto of “connecting people” to maintain their market share and continue to be a powerhouse. The company saw nothing but success and acquired smaller companies to expand operations for future growth, but this situation quickly flipped around with the introduction of other dominators in the tech market, the iPhone.
Nokia faltered in this situation because in their quest to expand and get as most of the market share that they could, they forgot the primary reason they were formed and failed to innovate their products and strategy as peoples’ needs and wants to be changed. Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone as a “product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been,” was a game-changer for Nokia in a bad way. They forgot about their strengths and adaptability and were swallowed up by Microsoft.
This isn’t an isolated incident. It has been occurring throughout history as new competitors come to the market with new ideas that capture consumers and change the direction of the market. The key to avoiding this is not to get so hung up on the strategy that you forgot the purpose. There is no need for strategy if the goal, the purpose, is no longer relevant. You must learn how to operate with the purpose to succeed. Employ these methods of operationalizing your purpose to get closer to the perfect balance.
Have a Purpose – You can’t know a purpose that doesn’t exist. The purpose of your company needs to break barriers while employees and the public know what you’re working towards. SpaceX, a company designed to make space more accessible, is a legitimate example of knowing and executing that purpose.
Find a Comfortable Middle – Balance is crucial to long-term success. Choices, both small and large, need to be made and should always be made with the purpose in mind. Look at both profit and loss or authority and empathy instead of analyzing factors on a basis of one instead of the other. Sustainability, for example, serves the purpose of growing a business while simultaneously cutting costs and reducing risks to benefit everyone involved.
Collaborate – Collaboration enables employees to adapt to new changes and come together to achieve a common objective. This plasticity should be emphasized by leaders to encourage people to pursue the company’s purpose without always adhering to a set method or schedule. Change doesn’t come from doing the same thing every single time.
Leadership – Behind every strong business is a team of strong leaders. It’s essential to speak out and be authentic in your ambitions and not afraid to express them. Making the purpose into a reality is fundamental for being successful today.