I’ve been talking about the three key dimensions of a company’s mission. Starting with delivering value for customers, we then added articulating what the value is for us, the team.

Finally, let’s talk about how a Mission captures value for the world. This might stretch your comfort zone, but stay with me here.

The good news is that you get to define “world” for your organization. It could be the local community, society at large, your industry, or even literally the whole world.

The questions to ask are:

  • How will our world be improved because we exist?
  • What is the larger contribution we dream of making?
  • Why would people be sad if we were gone, even if they could get the same products and services elsewhere?

The traditional wisdom was that the sole purpose of a business was to make money for shareholders. Customers? Employees? Products? All are only good to the extent that the shareholders get rich.

Making money isn’t evil, but it’s not the only thing in the world. You can’t evaluate your health or relationships with your family in monetary terms.

Likewise, a company – or any organization – will be sustainable to the extent that it develops relationships and connects with a larger purpose.

A great example is an interview I recently had with Val Miller at Timnath Beerwerks. A fundamental pillar of their mission is being a “community hub.” They’re changing their little corner of the world, filling a purpose much larger than just selling beer.

The beer is amazing, too, but that’s another conversation.

How does your mission connect with your larger impact? How do you define “our world”?