Core Purpose Statement Survival Checklist

A core purpose statement is a brief explanation of why a business exists for its customers. It brings clear focus to a company’s core values, spelling them out so that everyone – from managers to part-timers – is on the same page (check out What A Core Purpose Statement Can Do For You to learn more). Here are some things to keep in mind when developing a core purpose statement.

Is your purpose statement an “end” or a “means”?

Does your purpose statement address what difference your company will make for those you serve, or does it merely describe what your organization does? Remember, your purpose statement doesn’t relate how, but rather why.

Do you use nouns that embody activities?

Does your purpose statement use nouns that signify a type of “means” rather than an outcome? Beware of words such as advocacy, education, program and service.

Is anything in your statement unidentifiable?

Check carefully to make sure there is no technical language or jargon – meaningless to the outside world – in your purpose statement.

Does your statement use brevity?

Is your purpose statement too long? Does it ramble, making it difficult to locate the main point? Burying the core purpose in two or three padded paragraphs will be sure to weaken its power to guide and shape your organization.

Is your statement too broad or too narrow?

Your purpose statement should be broad enough to allow for growth and expansion, but narrow enough to keep the company clearly and strongly focused.

Is your core purpose statement unique?

Does your purpose statement focus on what is unique about your company? It is important to consider your purpose in light of other similarly situated companies and to ensure that you “stand out in the crowd.”

Source: Tony Poderis, Zuri Group