Asking Your Company ‘Why Do We do This?’
Recently we heard Eduardo Conrado, the SVP and CMO of Motorola Solutions, talk about the process their company went through as they split Motorola into two companies; the B2C mobile company (Mobility) and the B2B organization (Solutions) Conrado helps to lead.
The decision to focus on Purpose helped define who the company would be – but initially sounded all too familiar to this experienced corporate marketer.
“We are going to create this new company (or product), so marketing and the agency are going to create a new name, a new logo, some brand guidelines and a bunch of ads. Don’t worry Mr. CEO, it’ll be fine.”
Conrado told of how he was almost at that same point and he knew he needed to stop the process and define ‘why’ it mattered. Not only to customers, but dealers and associates worldwide.
What they found was something we can all use as marketers in this new era of marketing. A quote referenced from The Boston Consulting Group stated, “Marketing will not return to normal. It is vital for marketers to embrace new marketing approaches, vehicles and organizational approaches, while recognizing that there is no set recipe for success…in today’s world, marketing by the books is the biggest risk of all.” Wow, aren’t you excited about your career choice?
Three key points about why Purpose should matter to you and your organization:
- Purpose Motivates Employees. If employees understand and believe in what you’re trying to achieve, they are more engaged and motivated. They understand they are part of something that matters and they are proud of where they work and what they do. In the tough housing market we are all working in, having motivated employees has never been more important.
- Purpose Gives Leaders a Personal Platform. As a leader in your company, defining the company’s purpose also defines your purpose. Where do you want to take the company? What do you want to accomplish that lasts beyond your tenure?
- Purpose Drives Sustainable Advantage. This is where the rubber meets the road. Organizations driven by purpose and values outperformed the general market 15:1 and outperformed comparison companies 6:1.* Now who couldn’t use that type of performance right now?
*From the book, Built to Last (Jim Collins)
Another key point from this presentation was the fact that Motorola Solutions, a technology innovator for decades, had to stop thinking of themselves as a technology company but rather view themselves as a solutions company. Solutions that make a difference in people’s lives – everyday.
So how do we apply this thinking to our industry? We focus ourselves, our team, our suppliers, our channel partners and even our customers on the purpose of what we do every day. Ask yourself ‘why do we do this’ or ‘why does this matter’ and see what type of answer you get. If it’s the same as your competitor, it’s probably time to rethink everything.