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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