27 May A game of two halves: Purpose and profit
In the world of business, we often hear sporting terms and analogies, such as ‘best in their field’, ‘team building’, ‘goals’, ‘results’ or ‘going the distance’. We also celebrate individual ‘superstars’ and talent with trophies and awards.
But have you ever thought this should be done the other way around? Could sports teams learn from those in business?
Like sports teams, a company operates in a highly competitive environment. To be successful they must lead in their proverbial arena, employ the best talent, and continuously invest in their game. To secure long-term success, they also need to seek alternative revenue streams and be open to opportunities and collaborations. They want positive results, to improve profits and return on investment (ROI), and to reach a wider audience and get people talking about them.
Super League own goal
Last month, six football clubs from England’s Premier League netted an own goal when they announced their intention to participate in a new European Super League (ESL). Twelve of Europe’s top football teams announced plans to form a breakaway league that would host its games during the week.
Fans were outraged. To them this felt like the clubs they had supported for years had forgotten their roots and left the fans behind. They were worried they would not be able to afford to go to European games thanks to expensive ticket prices, air fare and accommodation. They were also worried about what this meant for the future of football here in the UK and the Premier League.
This played out on social media and in the mainstream media and, one by one, each of the teams dropped out and the ESL ended almost as soon as it started.
They think it’s all over…it is now.
What can we learn from this?
When we start a business, often we are very clear on our ‘Why’ and our values as a company. We know what motivates us and what we stand for. We identify our target market and who we can help and want to work with, and we get to work.
But how often do we review these things?
It is easy to get distracted by opportunities, big money contracts and shiny objects.
In this case, it would seem that the premiership football teams have lost sight of their original purpose, what they set out to achieve and who they want to serve and bring together. Their purpose and strategy are no longer aligned. They have also missed the mark with their target audience and loyal brand ambassadors.
All businesses aim to be in that situation where you have brand champions who market your business for you because they believe in it so passionately. This is one thing the football world has in spades. Or did have. Now it has damaged relationships that need saving.
Most modern organisations are working their socks off to create a tribe, a loyal following that will accelerate and sustain their growth. However, when a tribe is inherited by a new leadership team, more often than not, the organisation will drift out of its lane, demonstrating inconsistency with its cause, purpose and belief – the very foundation of the relationship with its loyal following. It is so easily done but can be rectified.
At Bright Trees we work with many organisations, large and small, to help them to define their purpose and create a solid foundation for growth.
We have also defined our own values so we stay on track and make a positive impact ourselves.
For long-term sustainability and a loyal following, purpose should always come before profit.