UPS – a company with a clear purpose
It is true that having a clear vision, mission and values are the great unifiers; bringing people together with the promise of a future that is better than the present and aligning efforts across an organization to ensure all decisions progress towards the same end goal.
With some recent – and some not so recent – social and environmental challenges, the nature of business and the role organizations play within their communities is changing. Consumers are more and more looking for sustainable, diverse and authentic living brands. Therefore, in today’s society there has arisen a fourth element that is becoming crucial to defining organizational strategy – purpose.
A study looking at high growth in companies (Source: Malnight, Buche, and Dhanaraj 2011) found that alongside the expected drivers, the companies in the study also had a clear purpose and had made it central to their strategies, using it to redefine playing fields and reshape value propositions.
A company’s purpose is essentially its reason for being. Connecting the vision, mission and values, the purpose outlines the all-important question of ‘why?’
Why do you do what you do? Why do you exist at all?
More and more we are seeing companies defining their purpose and putting it at the heart of their strategy for growth. Corporations have an opportunity to change the status quo by questioning decisions and developing more sustainable and equitable work policies, processes, products and investments. Achieving purpose goals and sharing internally and externally the company’s contribution to communities is driving performance.
UPS is a company with a clear vision, mission and values and now, a stated purpose.
UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, began more than a century ago with a $100 loan to jumpstart a tiny messenger service. Through perseverance, adaptability - and purpose – the company evolved into a multi-billion-dollar global corporation.
Recently it underwent an intense process of self-discovery to clearly define its purpose – to understand exactly what has fuelled its success and growth thus far and what continues to drive it to find new and innovative ways to move 3 percent of the world’s GDP every single day.
One thing that stood out was the passionate commitment of the 528,000 people globally that power the company to deliver on their promises and serve their customers and communities every day.
It was this recognition of the heart and soul that was being put into building and protecting the communities they served around the world that helped them arrive at their very first purpose statement: Moving the World Forward by Delivering What Matters.
Moving the world forward is not just what they do, it’s why they do it. Far from just being a package delivery service, UPS exists to bring good to the world, empowering their people, customers and communities, and delivering moments of happiness every day, putting smiles on peoples’ faces by showing up when they say they will and giving certainty and assurance in an otherwise uncertain and dynamic world.
Identifying their purpose as a vehicle for positive momentum was a defining moment for UPS, giving meaning to their long-term vision and unifying their people behind one cause.
Strategically speaking it describes a company that constantly seeks out opportunities that move the economy forward, benefitting those who need a chance, and that rises to challenges, never letting obstacles get in the way of what they need to deliver. It speaks of a company that can adapt, diversify and pivot as needed without losing sight of its core purpose.
The recognition that the strength of their collective actions is a powerful force for good has been the driver behind initiatives such as their partnership with SheTrades. This program aims to drive the economic empowerment of women globally, and its focus on supporting the global small business community by simplifying and automating the international export process.
UPS’s purpose also aligns with their strategy - customer first, people led, innovation driven – and carves out a way forward, always looking ahead one turn at a time. Tomorrow, UPS has its eyes firmly on continuing to lead the industry and connect the world, with a renewed purpose and a passion for Moving the World Forward by Delivering What Matters.