We have a purpose. Do you?

October 30, 2020

Never did we think that we would become actual bloggers. However, the response to our previous post “We started a business during Covid-19. Here’s what we learned.” has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s something that we would like to continue.

It’s nice to hear that people enjoyed our musings 💁‍♂️.

If you have ever talked to us, you’ll know that we are big on purpose.

So much so that it’s one of our key selling points. Purpose Led, Impact Driven. That’s TenX.

We genuinely want to help our clients. We have years of experience bringing change across multiple businesses and industries. We want to use the knowledge we have gained to positively impact their business.

Better products. Better services. Better experience. Better businesses. It’s simple really.

Everything we do revolves around our purpose: clients we work with, industries that we work in, day-to-day decision making, products & services that we use.

However, it’s something that we struggled to clearly articulate for quite a while. Landing on our specific purpose was hard. It was something that we strongly felt. But translating those feelings into words was quite hard.

  • “Doing cool shit with cool people every day”
  • “Enjoying every day”
  • “Learning every day”
  • “Doing things differently”
  • “Being honest & true to ourselves”

None of these quite cut it, although they are things that we truly want to do. They’re a byproduct of a transformative purpose, rather than a purpose itself.

Then, we tried focusing on a more mission-led purpose.

  • “Breaking the resistance to change”
  • “Rejecting mediocrity”
  • “Riding the world of inertia”

Getting warmer, but not quite right. 🤷

We were on the right track, but now we had the words maybe we lost some of the feelings?

As we see it - something is broken; we have seen time & time again that people don’t try new approaches. They are not open to change. They end up succumbing to the status quo. They are risk-averse. They react to the competition too much. Ultimately, they are subconsciously making a deliberate decision to champion mediocrity.

We want to destroy that mentality, but why?

The mission led purposes above state how this might be achieved, but fails to uncover the why.

Back to the drawing board. To keep things objective (and on-track), we sough help from the wonderful Paulette (of CotterWorks fame) for a one- day strategy workshop. She led us through her framework for forming a purpose and asked us all the tough questions that needed asking. We ended the day with bunch of insightful advice to consider.

We now were really clear on what we needed to answer and we knew how to find the answer. We do this every day with our clients, as part of our own systematic approach to innovation. One step in that approach is to seek out inspiration. We looked at the purposes of the businesses that inspire us.

  • Boston Children's Hospital’s “Until every child is well” is powerful.
  • Quirky’s “Making invention accessible” is awesome.
  • Tesla’s “Pioneering the future of automobiles” is ambitious.
  • SpaceX “humans must become a multi-planetary species” is audacious.

Now we are getting closer.

These are inspirational. They set out to solve big problems and bring purpose & meaning to work - they give people a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning.

People can buy into them. Company-wide decisions can be made & executed. That’s the purpose of a purpose.

Finally, we landed on something that gives us just enough purpose.

“Make things better. Make everything better. Make lives better”.

It’ll probably change again. And that will be cool. Right now though, it’s more than enough.

It allows us to follow our ethos of starting small, experimenting at pace, find what the works best & scaling only what’s been validated.

You might be asking why is this purpose so important. You’re just consultants, right?

Not really. Traditional consultants subconsciously make things bigger than they need to be; to keep themselves in work. They need to justify the work to pay for their salaries. We’re not like that. Unless it makes our client’s business better, then we don’t do it.

We don’t have huge overheads which mean that our clients can get to an outcome faster, cheaper and with less risk. That’s our difference.

Our purpose is vital to us because it’s fundamental to us achieving our 10-year plan. Other businesses talk about Vision, Strategy, Plans, etc. We think strategically too, but we talk about them in much simpler terms. The 10-year plan is the Vision, the 3-year plan is the Strategy, a 1-year view is the Plan.

For us the 10-year plan, a.k.a. The Vision is quite simple.

We have an ambitious goal to have established a minimum of five businesses across multiple industries in this time period. These businesses must fit into the current market instead of blowing it apart and seek independent long-term survival through sustainable, responsible growth.

Each business must make the world better, through social or environmental impact. And we don’t mean just donating money, we mean that the business model itself must have social or environmental good at the core, defined by the specific purpose of that individual business.

Each business must make the thing that it is focused on, and the lives of its users, better.

Our purpose is our plan.

Purpose Led, Impact Driven, remember? That’s TenX.

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