Hollywood can make your company more successful. Here's how!
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Every great movie has a clear mission, giving the hero a clear purpose. In Shrek, the ogre has to rescue a princess for Lord Farquaad, in order to get his swamp back. In Starwars, Luke has to destroy the Death Star to return peace to the galaxy.
If the goal wasn't clear, then the movie would be a flop. The protagonist would meander along without a sense of purpose. The audience would get bored. The film would fail to make a profit.
The same applies to your company!
In this Harvard Business School article, it states that "firms exhibiting both high purpose and clarity have systematically higher future accounting and stock market performance, even after controlling for current performance."
Unfortunately, many companies do not have a clear mission or purpose. And those that do, often do a bad job of communicating it to their teams.
In The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, they capture this point clearly in the following quotes:
“More teams than not in most organizations remain unclear as a team about what they want to accomplish and why”.
“Teams rarely work without common goals; yet far too many teams casually accept goals that are neither demanding, precise, realistic, nor actually held in common”.
Just like our Hollywood heroes, your company needs a clear mission and purpose. Here are some mission statements from some of the world's most successful companies:
"Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together" - Facebook
"To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavours to offer its customers the lowest possible prices" - Amazon
"Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it" - Spotify
Mission statements drive companies forward. If your company doesn't have a mission statement then you should clear your diary and spend some time crafting one.
Mission statements provide purpose by defining what you want your company to achieve right now (not to be confused with vision statements, which capture what you want your company to achieve in the future).
Once you understand your company's mission and purpose you need to define some goals.
Indiana Jones's had a number of clear goals in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He first had to recover the headpiece to the Staff of Ra. He then has to decipher the messages and recreate the staff. Finally, he has to get to the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis did.
Your leadership team will create a list of goals that outline the most important things to your business. Just like Indie, some goals will need to be completed before other goals can be achieved. All goals must complement your company mission and purpose. Here are some examples:
Reach 1m subscribers by 2025
Increase engaged customers by 150k by 2021
Grow revenue by £100m in 2023
Achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030
Reduce customer service costs by £5m by 2022
Launch a new revenue stream generating £1m profit by 2023
Reduce dependencies on 3rd parties in the supply chain by 20% by 2030
It is essential to make these goals demanding, precise, and realistic. It is even more important to ensure that your different departments are aligned on these goals. They will set your teams on their way. But they are not enough on their own.
Once you've outlined your company mission, purpose and goals you'll need to roll these out to your teams and make sure they are working on achieving them. The key to doing this clearly and efficiently is adopting OKR (Objectives and Key Results) culture. Read my next blog post on how OKRs can help take your company to the next level.