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What makes a good purpose:Inspirational Edition


When we see a professional basketball game, say an NBA game, we generally don't pay much attention to the game ball. However, there is no doubt, the ball is a critical part of the game. Without a functioning and well-made ball, the ball couldn't be dribbled and it would slip out of the players' hand all the time. There would be a game if there isn't a well-functioning basketball.


The same could be said about business purpose. When companies focus on activating the purpose, the purpose is the game ball. Before we roll out the activation programs, we need to ensure the newly discovered purpose is good, sound, and fitting so it can be ready to serve as a guide for your team of employees.


What makes a good purpose?

In a series of articles, we will look at different attributes of what makes a good purpose. This week, we look at: Is the purpose inspirational?


What does inspire mean?

The base word of inspiration is the verb - inspire. It refers to the act of influence, motivating, or stimulating someone's thoughts, feelings, or actions. It is also helpful to understand the origin of this word.


The word "inspire" originates from the Latin word "inspirare," which means to "breathe into" or "to breathe life into". The word's meaning evolves to carry the meaning of "to infuse with spirit or life."


An inspirational purpose refers to a purpose that can give people energy. It creates a drive. It leads to motivation.


A business purpose guides the organization in terms of its decisions, actions, and communication. Many refer to purpose as the North Star of a company. Embracing this analogy, having a North Star is important. But a North Star has no value if no one wants to raise their head and look to it for guidance. This is why an inspirational purpose is important. People can tap into the purpose for energy and meaning. It makes them want to embrace the North Star.


Here are some key questions to think about when reviewing a purpose statement in the context of the organization:


  • Is it inspirational?

  • Does it energize us?

  • Does it excite us?

  • Does it motivate us?

  • Does it drive us?


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