Why your business needs a Massive Transformative Purpose

Salim Ismail in his excellent book ‘Exponential Organisations’ talks about going beyond mission statements to statements of true intent. Your Massive Transformative Purpose.

That language initially pulled me towards ‘worthy charitable mission’. But that’s not the point at all, and if you reacted in a similar way I encourage you to think differently.

You don’t need to have be eradicating disease or solving world hunger (those are not currently effective business models anyway). What an MTP is really designed to do is to challenge you to think about is whether you are using your entrepreneurial skills in a way that aligns with the world that you personally want to create.

We’ll come to that.

First, here’s two reasons why having an MTP makes commercial sense:

1 – Your People

Look at these company statements and tell me who you are inspired to work for:

  • TESLA: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainable Transportation for the Masses
  • AMAZON: To be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online
  • NASA: We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind
  • TED: Ideas worth spreading
  • SQUARESPACE: Make beautiful products to help people with creative ideas succeed
  • MICROSOFT: to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more

There is the oft cited tale of the two stonemasons. A man was walking through the courtyard where they were working and asked what they were doing. One replied “I’m cutting stones”, the other replied “I’m building a cathedral”. Which one do you want on your team?

JFK was on a visit to NASA and he asked a janitor what his job. The reply was “putting a man on the moon”. How clean do you think that building was?

And in a world short of ‘A’ players, what is the compelling reason to come to you?


2 – Focus

Do you actions at the moment align to your Massive Transformative Purpose? When you are looking at your strategy and when you implement your policies, how are you making those big decisions?

Roy Disney said decisions are easy when you know your values. He’s right. An MTP create that clarity when you use that as the pre-eminent filter, decisions are faster and more cost effective. Your clarity and consistency builds also trust, and that’s the one commodity that money can’t buy.


Are you a mercenary, a martyr or a change-maker?

Beyond commercial sense, there’s also the ultimate question for you to consider;

Why are you here on this planet?

Maybe you are a mercenary. Maybe money is the key goal for you. You know what all the mercenaries I meet have in common? They’re boring.

Maybe you’re a martyr. Maybe your cause is everything. You know what all martyrs I meet have in common? They’re ineffectual.

The only people doing anything are the change-makers. Those who channel their desire for change into a practical solution. Those who take meaningful action. Those who know that money and moaning are empty end-goals. And every change-maker has an MTP that they are executing on.

Who are you choosing to be?