Why ‘Purpose and WHY’ are More Relevant and Important than Your Firm’s Mission

One Page Plan
February 28, 2017
[Infographic] Reshaping Your Accounting Business into ‘The Perfect Firm’ – Before & After
March 15, 2017

Go ahead and ask anyone on your team this question: ‘what’s our mission statement?’ Chances are slim that everyone (including you) will get it.

Yet for years we’ve been told (and we still are told) that it’s critical to ‘have a mission’ AND ‘a vision’.

So what often happens is firms have a ‘retreat’ (I’d much prefer you call them a ‘forward’!) to ‘really nail this mission thing’.

A Partner, Jane, of a UK accounting firm in the UK described the process to me recently like this:

Trying to think of a mission is such a mammoth task and really hard to pin down. On the other hand, thinking about the little things that we want to do and what a big difference they could eventually make puts a very different perspective on things and adds feeling and meaning to what are otherwise just words.”

The first part captures the main challenge …..…….. ‘a mammoth task’. And then the really telling part comes on the end, ‘ …..what are otherwise just words.

Jane could well have added ‘… words that mean nothing.’ Words that become motherhood statements that no one can even remember — so much so that firms stick them up in toilets (I am not joking) so that people can remember them.

Just recently I saw the issue come up again at a Conference for high-flying coaches in Bali. They were asked to define their why and were given ‘huge’ examples. So you had people saying that they created their businesses because they were really concerned about cleaning up the mess in our world’s oceans.

That’s nice. But it’s not going to happen. Because people running businesses don’t get up to clean up the ocean every morning.

And right there is the key ….. getting up in the morning. Well not just getting up but articulating WHY you get up in the morning and getting really, really clear on it.

I am totally convinced (and so are many rapidly-developing, innovative firms) that literally ‘nailing’ why you get up every morning and articulating it powerfully in one sentence is THE critical place for every firm to start. Simon Sinek (‘Start with Why’ author) puts it this way: ‘Differentiation comes from CLARITY of WHY.’

And then he powerfully adds ‘…. not excess of what’ to get to this powerful statement “Differentiation comes from Clarity of Why, not from excess of what.

Here’s a great way to check whether you’re on track …. just go right now to your website. And check whether you see your WHY or do you see ‘excess of what’.

When you change that around, magic happens.

Articulating your WHY as in ‘I get up every morning to…’ is fundamentally focused on how you can design your firm to be ideal today. A mission and a vision are, in many cases, still in the future.

The Perfect Firm acts, walks and talks to be exemplary. And that gives it added power to reach the highest degree of excellence…not in the future…but today.

The Perfect Firm is very Purpose-centric. The Perfect Firm has their WHY and business purpose totally nailed. It’s front and center in everything they do. We can help you do this by helping you create a customized business performance plan. This is the first step to reshaping your Accounting business into ‘The Perfect Firm’ for you. 

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