Bright Idea: How to Breathe Life into Your Purpose and Core Values

By Angela Coté | Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of The FranchiseVoice

Have you heard all the hype about the importance of knowing your “purpose” and “core values”? I used to think it was all ‘fluff,’ until I started to peel back the layers on what high-growth companies – and individuals – do differently. And ironically, it became even more clear to me why our family business, M&M Food Market, grew to over 450 locations across Canada.

Not only were we clear on our purpose, but we lived and breathed it by ensuring everyone from head office to employees on the front line knew why we existed, which was “To create a friendly food shopping experience that makes our customers say, ‘I’ll be back.’” When the customer, unprompted, said they’d be back as they walked out the door, we would secretly be high-fiving each other once the coast was clear

Once you get clear on what your purpose and core values are, and there are many ways to do this, from reading books like Traction by Gino Wickman to hiring a coach to help you dig deep, the next step is to make a plan on how you will live and breathe your purpose and core values every day.

Here are three quick tips to help you do this:

  1. When interviewing a new member for the team, whether an employee, franchisee or even supplier, share your purpose and core values, and ask them to share examples of how they live and breathe them in their daily lives or previous workplaces. If they can’t come up with anything, that might be a red flag regarding their alignment.
  2. Start every meeting or huddle – whether in person, on the phone or video conference – with a review of your company’s purpose and core values. At the end of the call, ensure that the decisions made were in alignment and on track. If anything seems off, take the time to readdress and ensure there is alignment going forward.
  3. Incorporate your purpose and core values into your branding and throughout your organization. This can be done on your website, your promotional materials, and your business cards, for example. Many workplaces will splash their purpose and core values on a wall for everyone who comes in contact with the organization to be able to see.

The bottom line is that having clarity on your purpose and core values ensures that everyone is “singing from the same songbook,” as my dad likes to say. When you are clear on this foundational component, it makes decision making easier, and leads to exponential growth for people and businesses.

The opinions or viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA). Where materials and content were prepared by persons and/or entities other than the CFA, the said other persons and/or entities are solely responsible for their content. The information provided herein is intended only as general information that may or may not reflect the most current developments. The mention of particular companies or individuals does not represent an endorsement by the CFA. Information on legal matters should not be construed as legal advice. Although professionals may prepare these materials or be quoted in them, this information should not be used as a substitute for professional services. If legal or other professional advice is required, the services of a professional should be sought.