Put some passion in your purpose
Let's face it, most company's purpose or mission statements are a total load of old bollocks, and a waste of time and energy. They tend to worship the holy trinity of "customers, shareholders and employees". If you swapped them around at random, most companies wouldn't know notice the difference.
In fact, for a while there was a Dilbert Mission Statement Generator that would cook one up for you, using a set of typical mission statement phrases as ingredients.
Well, it was nice to see this morning a purpose statement that could actually help inspire and guide a business. It was in the UK office reception of Kerry Food's, makers of Walls, Richmond and Cheesestrings, amongst many other brands.
Now, if Kerry had used Dilbert to help them, they would have come up with something like:
"We will surprise and delight our consumers by delivering superior quality chilled food, and in doing so deliver superior returns for shareholder".
Instead, they came up with this:
Here's why I think this is pretty good:
1. It defines the market well, and does so not in product terms, but in terms of the opportunity: "fridge food". This really opens the mind to innovation.
2. It has a call to action. And an ambitious one at that: "fill the country's fridges". A good Purpose should be an ongoing reason to exist that is hard to ever attain.
3. It is short and sweet. So you'd actually have a fair chance of remembering it
4. It has a distinctive voice and is written in everyday language: "simply brilliant food" for example.
So, a good source of inspiration if you are working on a company purpose.