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What is Purpose?

What do mean when we talk about our Purpose?

You hear the term ‘Purpose’ a lot at Branson Centre. So what exactly do we mean by Purpose?

Purpose is about thinking not about ‘how’ and ‘what’ you do as a business, but instead stepping back and thinking longer term about why it is you really exist.

All entrepreneurs have clear objectives, but developing our Purpose prompts us to also think about the more fundamental role and meaning we have in people’s lives.

It is not such a stretch for us as entrepreneurs because we have always put customers at the centre of all we do, but what is compelling about becoming more Purpose driven is that it encompasses not only our people and customers, but also pushes us to think about our impact on wider society and the environment too.

Below, Charlotte Goodman, Virgin's Changing Business for Good Group Director, explains more...

What Purpose is

  • Why you exist

  • Enduring – a long term view

  • Insight driven and co-created

  • Distinctive and differentiated

  • Aligned with values and incentives

  • Embedded in every aspect of the business

  • A driver for all decisions

  • Something all employees have a role to play in

  • A compass when making difficult decisions

  • A driver for innovation

What Purpose isn’t

  • How and what you do

  • An annual plan or quarterly campaign

  • An strapline that is not informed by key insights

  • Desirable, rather than essential

  • An afterthought when decision making

  • Solely a leadership initiative

  • A separate project or business unit

  • Something you discard when times are tough

  • About maintaining the status quo

Purpose isn’t separate or distinct from your business strategy but instead frames it, and should drive all the decisions you make as a business.

Your Purpose must never be discarded when times are tough - it is particularly helpful when navigating difficult decisions and can be a really useful compass.

Purpose isn’t just a leadership initiative. Of course, leadership is critical to businesses becoming more Purpose driven, but what is so exciting about this agenda is that every single person in the business has a role to play in delivering it. And who doesn’t want a real sense of Purpose at work?

There are 3 key elements to embarking on your Purpose journey:

Learn more about each by clicking through to the supporting articles above.

We know that there are so many amazing Purpose driven initiatives going on across this community, and we’d love to learn about them.

The Branson Centre Team is here to help at whatever stage you are at in developing your purpose. Please share your stories, ask questions or get in touch through Connect!

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