Every person associated with an organization should be able to explain the Noble Purpose of the organization in an “elevator” speech that is sixty seconds long or less.
McLeod uses business examples, but this can easily be translated for nonprofits and government. In order to create a Noble Purpose Statement, begin by asking three important questions:
1. How do you make a difference to your customers? For nonprofits/government, we would ask what difference/impact you make for those you serve. Make sure to identify the “ripple impacts” you make. For example, you may provide direct services in literacy education, but what other ripple differences does that make in the community once someone can read. They can get a job, this reduces unemployment, helps the tax base, impacts the rest of their family, etc.
2. How do you do it differently from your competition?
3. On your best day, what do you love about your job?
Going through these questions helps you get in touch with the Noble Purpose of your organization – the difference you make for others. Your mission statement can inform this conversation, but this is way more than memorizing your mission statement.
This would be a great exercise for a staff retreat or special staff meeting. By the end, each person should have crafted their own personal version of a Noble Purpose Statement. Each version should have the same basic theme, but people can emphasize different aspects of the purpose.
Your organization makes an important Mission Impact. You need to be able to explain it in a clear, compelling way that inspires you and others.