May 14, 2010

More Why Behind the What

Always low prices.

For many years that was the Wal-Mart value proposition and commitment to its customers.  And it's not a bad one.  But if I was a Wal-Mart employee, I'm not sure it would make me get up every day and go to work with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Save Money.  Live Better.

This is their new tagline.  The prices are still low, but now we see the purpose behind the promise.  Shop here because we save you money so you can live better.

Living better was always implied, but now it has been made explicit.  As an employee I'd take a bit more pride in my company and my work if I know we cut costs and save money so people can live better.

More meaning behind the mantra as innovation evangelist Guy Kawasaki would say.  A powerful purpose that drives internal motivation as Dan Pink asserts in his new book, Drive.  So elegantly simple, yet so often absent in organizations.

What do you do for a living?  I help people live better.

Do you (and your colleagues) have similar clarity about the impact of their work?

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