There is not only ONE purpose

There is not only ONE purpose

Our search for the ultimate statement


What is the purpose of our organization? That is a question we have asked ourselves countless times. An important question because you hear everywhere that purpose-driven organizations perform better. An inspiring higher purpose makes it easier to engage customers, recruit new talent and inspire stakeholders. And who wouldn’t want that?

Exactly, that is what everyone wants. It seems so easy. Find the purpose of your organization and you will flourish. But finding the right purpose, that’s not easy. In all these years, we have been struggling to formulate a supported and lived statement that connects everything and everyone. And do you know why? Because we have not just one purpose.

Purpose & Holacracy

We have been working holacratic since the start of The Rookie Minds. Holacracy aims to enable organizations to express their purpose in the best possible way. This way of working is characterised by a flat structure of circles (teams), in which everyone fulfills their own unique roles. Each role in turn has its own ‘role-purpose’ that is a derivative of the overall organizational-purpose.

Determining the purpose of our organization was therefore crucial for us, because with Holacracy it spreads through the organization like a waterfall. In practice, however, determining this turned out to be less simple than we had thought beforehand and has been a major struggle. Does purpose relate to who we want to be, what we stand for or what we want to do? What is the goal of our organization and what is the value we want to add with it?

That one, ultimate statement does not exist

In the end, we experienced that the purpose, that one statement, does not exist for us because it depends on the context from which you look at it. Basically, we create purpose for our people. They are part of an organization, have the need to develop and grow and want to contribute to an ideal that is bigger than themselves. For us, purpose is driven from these three different perspectives: organization, people, and society.

#1 Organization-driven

If we look at purpose from an organizational perspective, then the organization as a community is central. It forms the social context within which we all work together and seek mutual connection. How we enter into and develop meaningful relationships with each other at work.

For us, this is the story why it all started: “Creating an everyone organization” was our dream when we started The Rookie Minds. A dream about a different way of organizing and a different way of working together. We wanted to break with the bureaucratic hierarchy and make people the heart and soul of everything we do. Building an organization for everyone. In which we are equal and can make our own decisions.

#2 People-driven

When we then look at purpose from the perspective of people in organizations, it is about the common belief about how we can grow and develop ourselves. About how we can use our passion and talents and deploy them in a targeted manner. It is this mentality, that way of thinking, with which we take on new challenges and make our voice heard to the world. It explains who we are and what we stand for.

What brought us together is “living the rookie mind”. We believe that real change comes when you keep looking at the world through the eyes of a Rookie. It is this optimistic and open-minded mindset that enables everyone to continuously learn and grow, and to contribute passionately to what really matters to us now.

#3 Society-driven

Finally, there is the purpose from the perspective of the outside world. The social ideal that is greater than us. It determines where we want to go and what we want to fight for. This is about our future. About the world we hope to live in and what we want to commit ourselves to. It is the ideal vision of what we want to achieve, without having the illusion that we will ever complete it.

We humanize work

We live in a world of accelerating change, where the future is less and less an extrapolation of the past. Change is unrelenting, relentless, and this increasing complexity takes many forms. But this is what they all have in common: people are needed in making sense of them. Only when we are able to stimulate human initiative and everyone has the ability to contribute passionately to the challenges we face, can we create the necessary agility and outrun change.

There is not only ONE purpose. Or is it? We are driven by three perspectives: organization, people and society. However, this does not mean that an all-encompassing statement cannot exist for you. Every organization is unique and operates from its own context. However, don’t fixate yourself on that one big goal in advance. Because who knows, purpose may also have its own different perspectives for you!