What’s our purpose?

This week I worked with a new client on crafting their “elevator” speech; the one liner that sums up the essense of who/what their organisation is.  It was a great day, and at the end of the day they had their one liner that truly summed up what they were all about. The looks on the faces of the team said it all -we had completely knocked the nail on the head. They nodded their heads as it resonated with them.. Reverberated in their hearts.

So why is this so important? Why does it matter?

For three reasons .. Firstly, without clarity of purpose it is very hard (impossible) to set appropriate strategies, vision, business plans and all the things that fall from that. It is the guiding statement to use as a sense checker for all things that make a business work short term and long term.

Secondly, it is such a powerful selling and marketing tool that helps share your message more broadly.  I saw a great example of this today whilst at the Apple Shop. I was talking to the lovely assistant about how I had “converted” to all things Mac. He said (quite seriously), “it’s not about converting people, Apple is all about making people’s lives better – when they see our products do that, then they sell themselves.” All about making people’s lives better. Indeed!  Simple, concise.

Thirdly, there are some organisations that do things that are hard for those not in the know to understand; having an elevator speech simplifes all that.  I was reminded of this when listening to the acceptance speech of one of the recent winners of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.  The winner, Olivia Humphrey explained her business in one sentence “we’re the youtube of the education sector“. Simple, concise and summons up an immediate image of who and what they do.

There’s a lovely post from David Hieatt that beautifully and eloquently “purpose”, and Simon Sinek talks further about it when he asks the question “why” whilst explaining how great leaders inspire action.

I’d love to know great elevator speeches you have come across .. The ones that resonate. The ones that make you immedate “get it”. Please share.

purpose, vision, clarity, elevator speech

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