Biz Tips: Why it’s important to define our purpose

Biz Tips: Why it’s important to define our purpose


Why it’s important to define our purpose


“What’s your aim?”

That’s the first thing I remember my classmates ask of me when I joined a new school. Not where I came from, or what I preferred for a snack, or if I played soccer, they wanted to know what I wanted to do in life.

“To be a writer,” I said after the initial surprise was over. They told me theirs-something significant-and then we moved on. The remainder of our conversation was pointless school-kid banter.

But the phenomenon struck with me. I hadn’t expected a bunch of high schoolers to use that question as an icebreaker. After all, people spend years altogether trying to come up with life goals they can achieve.

In hindsight, however, it makes a lot of sense. Having an aim, and knowing it, is essential to lead a good life. Not only do measurable goals give us direction, but they also give us a reason to wake up every morning. Let’s face it: life’s neither a beach nor a bed of roses. It’s a walk of thorns with an occasional breeze healing our wounds. We need something to keep us going during tough times, something worth fighting for, something we feel responsible for and accountable to. A life goal is something.

Once we identify it, our life will take a turn by itself. From that moment onwards, our every decision and every action will focus on that goal.

Organisational Why

The more you think about it, the more you realise that it’s the same as an organisation’s purpose.

Why defines everything else. How we approach situations, how we act, and what operational courses we take-all depend on the initial direction we set for the organisation.

That’s why the lack of it topples any establishment.

It’s one thing for the head of a company to know the why, but another thing altogether for the subordinates and the team members to be aware of it. Organisational culture should begin with the Why and seep through every layer of the hierarchy so that we can sustain our growth.

Every team needs an experienced leader who identifies with the company’s purpose. So much so that can guide the rest of the team with step-by-step instructions. For without a set path of guidance, motivation loses its way.
Which brings into question another essential scenario. What happens when the company’s Why no longer aligns with the company? Or in other words, what happens when motivation loses its way?

Although hard to process, such situations are easy to recognise. Irregular messaging, unclear priorities, unmotivated team members, unpredictable violations, miscommunications, and general dissatisfaction creep into organisations that have let the purpose misalign with their processes. That’s when it’s time to take a break. Perhaps it’s fixable, but perhaps it isn’t.


If it isn’t fixable, the sensible course is to re-course. There’s no use fighting a losing battle. Taking another approach, re-grouping, revising, and re-strategising is the way to go.

Pivoting when all is well

On the other hand, it’s also viable to change directions once we achieve our goal. A mother’s search to find the best school for her child could’ve ended in her establishing a new school altogether.

And once Why has realised its purpose, another takes its place. It’s a natural progression.

Just as a writer can’t stop with one blog or a nomad with one trail, an organisation’s purpose too will shift and grow for as long as it lives.

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