The Visionary Entrepreneur<br><small>Aligning Purpose, Values, Norms, and Accountability for Success</small>

The Visionary Entrepreneur
Aligning Purpose, Values, Norms, and Accountability for Success

Defining vision, purpose, values, accountabilities, and norms is critical for entrepreneurs to make their businesses grow consistently and survive for a long. While vision and purpose help the company stay focused on business activities, the values, accountabilities, and norms define the company’s culture. As a company grows and evolves, its culture will also evolve, but the foundation that is laid in the early stages will set the tone for the future. Even if a company is small or just starting out, it is important to establish a set of values, beliefs, and norms that will guide the company's actions and interactions.

Company culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and practices that define an organization and guide the interactions between its employees, customers, partners, and stakeholders. Strong and positive company culture can help attract and retain talent, foster innovation and collaboration, increase productivity and profitability, and enhance the reputation and brand image. In this article, we will explore the key components of company culture, including purpose, vision, values, accountability, and norms, and their importance in shaping a successful organization.


The purpose of a company defines the reason for its existence beyond monetary benefits. It is the guiding principle that inspires and motivates employees, customers, and other stakeholders to align with the company's mission and goals. A clear and compelling purpose can help create a sense of meaning and fulfillment in work and increase engagement and loyalty.

Let’s take the example of Microsoft. Their purpose statement is to "Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." Their purpose is to empower individuals and organizations to achieve their full potential, and they are constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the world of technology. Their purpose statement reflects their belief that technology can be a force for good, and it has always driven them to create tools and platforms that enable people to be more productive, creative, and connected.


The vision of a company is the long-term goal or ambition that it strives to achieve based on its purpose. It is the North Star that guides the company's strategy, culture, and operations and inspires its employees to pursue excellence and growth. A clear and ambitious vision can help create a sense of direction and purpose and differentiate the company from its competitors.

For example, Google’s vision is “To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This statement reflects their commitment to making information available to everyone worldwide. They believe that access to information is a fundamental human right, and their mission is to make it as easy as possible for people to find and use information. Their vision has driven them to develop innovative products and services that have revolutionized how people interact online to find and use information.


Values represent the guiding principles of a company. These are the ethical and behavioral standards that it expects its employees, customers, and other stakeholders to uphold. They reflect the company's culture, identity, and priorities and guide its decision-making, communication, and relationships. Clear and consistent values can help create a sense of trust, respect, and integrity and foster a positive and inclusive work environment.

Let’s look at the Values that define the culture of Starbucks.

  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity, and respect
  • Delivering our very best in all we do
  • Fostering a sense of community

Starbucks' values reflect its commitment to creating a positive and inclusive culture for its employees and customers. Their first value, "Creating a culture of warmth and belonging", reflects their belief that their stores should be welcoming and inclusive spaces for all people.

Their other values, such as "Acting with courage, challenging the status quo", reflect their commitment to innovation and taking bold action to create positive change. Their final value, "Fostering a sense of community,” reflects their belief in the power of community and their commitment to supporting local communities through charitable giving and community involvement. Overall, Starbucks' values reflect their belief that business can be a force for good in the world and that companies have a responsibility to create positive change in their communities.


Accountability in a company refers to the ownership and responsibility of tasks, goals, and outcomes among its employees, teams, and leaders. It is the framework that ensures that everyone knows what they are responsible for and how they will be measured and rewarded for their performance. A culture of accountability can help create a sense of trust, transparency, and collaboration and improve the quality and efficiency of work.

For example, Netflix's accountability culture is based on the principle of "freedom and responsibility." This principle means that employees have the freedom to make decisions and take risks and the responsibility to own the outcomes and learn from their mistakes. This culture has helped Netflix become a leader in the entertainment industry by fostering innovation, experimentation, and continuous improvement.


Norms are the unwritten rule of a company. Norms in a company refer to the unwritten and informal rules, behaviors, and practices that shape its culture and interactions. They can be influenced by the company's purpose, vision, values, and accountability and can have a significant impact on employee experience, satisfaction, and retention. A culture of positive norms can help create a sense of belonging, trust, and support and enhance collaboration.

The culture at Coca-Cola fosters quality, integrity, and sustainability. And they ensure that the behaviors and attitudes of their employees reflect the company norms. They are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in all their actions and interactions and to delivering the best quality products and services to our customers and stakeholders. They also value sustainability and are committed to reducing our environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices throughout their value chain.

During adverse conditions, having a clear vision, purpose, values, accountabilities, and norms can be critical for helping a company to navigate challenges and stay focused on its goals. A well-defined vision and purpose can help to provide a sense of direction and focus during difficult times and can inspire and motivate employees to keep working towards the company's goals. Similarly, strong values can help to guide decision-making and ensure that the company stays true to its principles and beliefs, even in the face of adversity.

Overall, having a strong and well-defined vision, purpose, values, accountabilities, and norms is crucial for creating a strong company culture, attracting and retaining top talent, and building a successful and thriving business.