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Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) – Finding your Business Purpose

12 min read

Culture Change

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It starts with an entrepreneur, hungry for mind-blowing breakthroughs, working to uncover big solutions, ready to undertake big tasks. They build a company ready to face global challenges with a deeply unifying purpose. With a team of bright and dedicated people and a mission statement that seeks to change the world, this new effort launches with incredible outcomes in mind. That company’s mission is voiced in its Massive Transformative Purpose and audacious purpose statement that must be more than just a highly aspirational tagline.

By establishing their Massive Transformative Purpose, companies try to build success through revolutionary ideas and developments. The MTP harnesses the passion and keeps a company aimed at its ultimate goal. The role of the MTP is to go beyond a mission statement to give direction to companies focused on rapid growth strategies.

The topic of Massive Transformative Purpose is covered in the culture chapter of How to Create Innovation. While the book does not have a separate model on Massive Transformative Purpose, the MTP is integrated into the Culture Canvas and the Business Model Canvas.

Understanding The Massive Transformative Purpose

The Purpose is the core of why an organization exists. The purpose of an organization ideally reflects the sum of the individual meanings of its members. Each person in the organization should be able to see their own meaning reflected in this purpose. Think about it: an organization will never be fully effective if its members don’t feel personally connected to its purpose.  

Many of us understand the mission statement and core business activity concepts. A strong MTP takes these elements of a business model several steps further by using it as a major point of innovation and motivation. Companies that work behind a Massive Transformational Purpose aren’t merely seeking success: they want historic developments that positively impact large groups of people.

The Layers of Organizational Culture

The UNITE Cultural Layers Model summarizes all the layers of your company, from purpose to business outcomes and bottom-line results. Each layer builds on the previous one, and ultimately, all are aligned with the Purpose. We can thus connect the deep Purpose and the other less tangible aspects of culture to the more direct and measurable business outcomes.

Cultural Layers Model
The UNITE Cultural Layers Model – connecting culture and business outcomes
Designed by: Susanne Zaninelli & Stefan F.Dieffenbacher

The next layer up from purpose is the Core Values. Values guide our actions in a more explicit way than Purpose does. They translate our overall worldview into actionable principles that can guide our behavior. The layers go on from there.

Vision is the long-term goal of the team, what it hopes to accomplish in five to ten years. Goals are set on a more tactical level and are a means to reach the vision. They can be set in any time frame from weeks to years. Our Vision and Goals are also important because they drive which strategic assets and capabilities a firm develop.

The Business and Operating Models represent how the organization functions and makes money. The Value Proposition is what the customer gets as a result of these models. Ultimately, the Value Proposition creates the business outcomes and bottom-line results—generating an organization’s profit and its current position in the market.

Understanding the Cultural Layers Model is critical since it connects culture to direct outcomes and is thus the basis for direction and execution. We love using this tool in workshops; you can use it to align your larger organization all the way down to smaller subgroups or even individual initiatives. It is critical to connecting individual meaning to purpose, goals, and ultimately the actions that create the outcomes we want to see.

How to create your Massive Transformative Purpose

What problem do you want to solve? Do you want to spread brilliant ideas all over the globe, like TED? Make transportation as reliable as running water, like Uber? Or help humankind reach its potential, like the non-profit organization AIESEC? Or do you just want to build a more fuel-efficient car? If you said the latter, your team has a purpose. If you’re more drawn to the former, you have a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP).

Before you can use your MTP to become the world’s most profitable aerospace company, or whatever it is you’d like to be, you must first think about who your company wishes to serve, and what that service will look like.

Identify the Big Who

Some of the companies discussed a little later in this article have chosen to have efforts focused on serving everyone in the world, at least eventually. Most significant transformation is eventually available to a large population, and most successful companies try to unite everyone behind their brands.

Having ideas worth spreading, building sustainable transportation, putting all the world’s information in the palm of our hands: these efforts are only successful if they think about their customers in meaningful ways.

Who will most benefit from the Massive Transformation you propose? What’s your plan to ensure no one is left behind?

The people it serves will give your company’s life meaning. Be sure you act with them in mind.

Identify the What

Using resources like the UNITE Business Model Canvas helps organizations grow cohesively as they plan to engage people’s hearts through their business’s activities, services, and products.

Your company’s mission statement doesn’t include–usually–the deals of what you’ll sell and how you’ll bring that statement to life. Strong Massive Transformative Purposes are coupled with clear strategies: new products, new ways to deliver value, radical breakthroughs in solutions.

Of course, there’s an aspirational element to your MTP: you’ve written a highly aspirational tagline!

What will you build to make this a reality?

Real Examples of Companies’ Massive Transformative Purpose

A true Massive Transformative Purpose is more than just a mission statement. An MTP is more than just a slogan.

In order to create transformative impact, a company must harness its vision and allow it to direct its mindset and work environment. The Massive Transformative Purpose is not just a big goal: It’s a directive, a way of doing business, a way of life.

Here are just a few examples of how MTP pushes teams to innovate.

Google: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful

It’s hard to imagine a world before Google these days. How many arguments have been avoided simply by Googling for a fact?

As Google’s self-driving car attests, the company has moved beyond its original focus these days. As they revolutionize space technology and help make possible near-instant global communication, the power of Google’s MTP remains obvious. What kind of different future would exist without it?

Uber: Transportation as reliable as running water

Through its business practices are sometimes under scrutiny, you can’t argue that Uber hasn’t successfully disrupted the transportation sector.

All rapidly growing organizations face challenges as they decide where to aim their efforts. Uber has been no different. At its core remains a dedication to the company’s Massive Transformative Purpose: that transportation should be accessible and inexpensive at all times.

TED: Ideas worth spreading

By bringing interesting people with exciting ideas to a broader audience, TED’s annual conference and other speaker events build upon the world’s information to challenge what we think about some of our most important topics.

Changing the world for the greater good: now that’s an idea worth spreading.

Tesla: Transition to sustainable transportation

Don’t get lost in the personalities behind Tesla: the company is still aimed at radically big thinking in the transportation space.

Tesla will always be associated most with their electric cars, but behind the controversial Elon Musk, they’ve also turned their attention to other efforts.

AIESEC: Help humankind

AIESEC (the acronym was French for the International Association of Students in Economics and Business, though the organization no longer uses its complete name) traces its beginning to students in post-WWII Europe finding business internships in different countries. Today, the student-run non-profit includes 40,000 members in over 120 countries.

They focus on leadership development and cultural exchanges. It’s easy to see how these activities contribute to their overall mission.

The Results of a Massive Transformative Purpose

While working behind a Massively Transformative Purpose can be energizing, it can also be tiring, challenging, and (at times) expensive. Even before you begin creating the next entrepreneurial competitive advantages, you’ve invested a lot of time, talent, and treasure.

What are we building, anyway, when we seek to change the world with our Massive Transformative Purpose? For an outsider, how might we describe these fruits of our labors?

We are looking for two results.

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift in Organizations & Leadership
The Paradigm Shift in Organizations & Leadership
Designed by: Susanne M.Zaninelli & Stefan F.Dieffenbacher

Though people outside the business world poke fun at “Paradigm Shift” as some corporate business-speak with no real meaning, experts understanding massive transformative purpose know that when successful, we are truly changing the way people think about solving problems. By changing thinking, we change acting. When we change acting, we change the world.

Successful business plans have an ethical obligation to what happens beyond the company’s walls. The shift doesn’t just change for change’s sake. We are making improvements in the way people experience the world.

It’s called “Massive Transformative Purpose” for a reason: to change things, a lot.

Exponential Growth

Without growth, businesses die. When your business dies, your purpose dies with it. Your business can’t change the world if it’s in the dustbin of history.

Your MTP will trigger incredible outcomes for you and the people you serve, and your business will be rewarded with continued patronage and financial success. The end result of your strong MTP is exponential growth that sets you up for continued opportunities to explore ideas that can positively impact the world.

Exponential Growth Canvas
The UNITE Exponential Growth Canvas
Designed by: Digital Leadership AG – Inspired by the Book Exponential Organisations

Getting it all Together

A strong Massively Transformative Purpose inspires action and inspires innovation. When you aim to have a global impact, all the rest of your decisions fall into place.

It’s not all that simple, of course, and even with hard work and good ideas, no one can predict with certainty if a business will be successful. Still, we try. We swing for the fences and embrace the risks that promise the best possible rewards.

Success often relies on careful, measured planning, and decisions made after study and research. Many of the greatest successes also include elements of risk, bravery, bravado, and even. Men and women are so sure of themselves that they’re willing to claim they can create something that changes the world forever. Not everyone is up to the task, but great things await the people who are.

See a problem. Grow a solution. Be bold in the way you execute your plan.

That’s how innovation works. That’s how the world moves forward.


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