Changing what you do without changing who you are.
By Michael D’Antonio
At some point, every Organization finds itself in a different time, a different place, operating in a different culture, from when it started. When this happens – and it always does – that organization must decide on what it is willing to change and what is endemic to its core. For decades, American car companies watched and ignored the world changing around them. They decided that everything was sacred and nothing would change. And they famously very nearly went out of business. Those companies didn’t cling to purpose - they clung to practice. And they became outdated, irrelevant and out of step with their times.
Conversely, look at a brand like Pinterest. Pinterest has a very simple purpose – to be the catalogue for the world’s ideas.
Since its inception, Pinterest has delivered on their purpose through vibrant imagery that brought these worlds to life. However, since then, the way the world shares ideas has already changed. From a cultural perspective, the role of video as a means to share ideas has grown exponentially. While Pinterest’s interface today is clearly imagery based, they never saw themselves or limited themselves as a still imagery company. Rather, as their purpose indicates, as a platform to deliver the world to you.
So Pinterest is converting the site to be video based. They are clinging to their purpose but abandoning their practice. They are unrelenting in their commitment but agnostic in terms of how they get there. There is a lesson here. As the world changes, so must your offering. But your purpose may remain intact. Your purpose needs to be big enough and enduring enough to transcend trends. It is the non-negotiable of your strategic plan. How you bring your purpose to life, however, is fluid, nimble and always in constant negotiation with the world around you.
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