A well-crafted corporate purpose statement is impactful on two fronts: It articulates your organization’s mission and aspirations to external stakeholders and sends a signal to your employees about what the company stands for. As a leader, how can you write a corporate purpose statement that’s actually believable, authentic, and inspiring (without vague, grandiose platitudes)?
First, tie your organization to a broader societal context. Explicitly reference the societal or environmental problems the organization seeks to address or alleviate—and how your products or services advance the common good in that specific context.
Remember to be specific and realistic. Lofty goals like “improving the world” may be laudable, but people will ask: How, exactly? Be detailed about the impact you hope to have, and who or what will benefit as a result.
It’s also essential that your purpose statement be authentic; your stakeholders—both internal and external—will be quick to notice a mismatch between your stated purpose and the realities of your organization’s impact, leading to lower employee motivation and customer trust.
Finally, be clear, concise, and engaging. A purpose statement is one of the most important pieces of writing your organization will publish. Craft it with intention and care.