When Drift was started in 2007 we shareholders got together and decided we were going to try and create something a little different. We decided that we were going to build the kind of company where we always wanted to work.
We wanted to build a different kind of company.
I was reading this article today about why a company’s purpose is now more important than ever http://gmj.gallup.com/content/114205/Company-Purpose-Matters.aspx and I felt compelled to blog about the Drift’s purpose.
As the article points out many companies often confuse their mission and purpose.
Our company mission is composed in two parts the first part is the D.R.I.F.T. component. In everything we do we are supposed to Do it RIght the First Time (DRIFT). We do this by delivering every site we build On Time, On Budget and Beyond Expectations.
Though this is our company mission it is NOT the company’s purpose.
So how do you build the company at which you always wanted to work? Everyone has had bad jobs in the past and we have all heard about those dream jobs that allegedly exist somewhere out there in that rarefied air where only the angels live.
You know, the jobs with the daycare, on site dentist and endless buffet bar. I expect most business owners would like to be successful enough to one day get there. But where do you begin?
At Drift we recognized that our purpose was to build the company we always wanted to work for, but what does that actually mean?
First it meant that we had to recognize that our notion of corporate responsibility would require us to look at the needs of our company’s stakeholders on a regular basis.
“Stakeholders you say, not shareholders?”
Exactly. We recognize that many different people have a stake in your company that goes far beyond the fiduciary duty to shareholders. We feel that by serving our stakeholders that we will remain true to our purpose and serve our shareholders at the same time.
We have identified our stakeholders as our Employees, Clients, the community at large, as well as our shareholders.
This means that for us to serve our purpose we need to provide our employees with a challenging and rewarding environment in which to work. Rewarding encompasses more that strictly monetary rewards, but more on that in a moment.
We realize that we only prosper if we recognize we have a stake in the success of our clients. For us to excel we need to help them succeed beyond the scope of just a given contract. We achieve this by leveraging our networking resources and exceeding what they expect of us.
We know that being responsible to the community in which you work means helping out with both time and money. To this end our company is chartered on the idea that we will give 10% of our net profits every year to charities based on a vote of our employees. In addition, we provide some degree of pro-bono service based on employee interest. This serves a two fold purpose in that it helps us connect to the communities we serve and the world at large and well as giving our employees a sense of fulfillment.
Finally our duties to our shareholders take care of themselves when we allow our company purpose to be met.
- This challenging economic time is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
- Allow your company to really engage in its purpose and get back to basics.
- Re-evaluate and re-align if you have found that your company has gotten on the wrong track.
- Realize what you company’s purpose is and you will find that you will emerge from the trying times stronger and more focused.
That way one day you will be able to provide that “All you can eat” buffet.