Amber (Mac) MacArthur

Rethinking Your Mission | Defining Purpose

TBOP2017 ⋅ 2:20 ⋅ Filmed May 10, 2017

Will the company you work for survive the next few years? The next decade? As technology revolutionizes life as we know it, staying the course is no longer an option for organizations that want to stay relevant — and profitable. By sharing a surprising example of a business that you’d think was doomed to fail, Amber Mac outlines why it is vital that companies rethink their missions and start their quests to change the world.

Further Reading

Reed Hastings and Netflix


Right now, if you work at a business, think in your head what is the mission of that business? What is your purpose? What are you trying to do? Are you trying to change the world? Are you trying to help people? What is that mission? You should be able to articulate this pretty clearly.

[0:16] There was a company that started, not that long ago, called Slack. The idea behind Slack was to help people, just like you, who hated email. They had a really clear mission in mind as well, and their mission was to go out there to sell to organizational transformation. They wanted to transform the way people communicated online, and they did exactly that.

[0:38] The last example I wanted to talk about, as far as rethinking your mission, I want to talk, for a second, about a company you all know as Netflix. I want to go back when I mentioned the companies that didn’t succeed and that weren’t able to adapt, and I want you to think about Netflix for a second. Netflix today is probably one of the most successful digital companies that I know. I also remember the Netflix of many years ago. I remember the Netflix that started when I lived in San Francisco. This was a company that actually mailed DVDs to your door. Think about this business, they physically mailed DVDs to your door.

[1:17] This is a business that for all intents and purposes should have failed. It should have failed within a few years when the internet became popular, but because they had such a strong leader in Reed Hastings, they were able to thrive, because they were able to adapt and they were able to change. If there’s one takeaway that I want you to walk away with from my presentation, and one thing that you can do, is go on and search for the Netflix Culture Deck. It’s a 200 slide presentation that’s available online that talks about the Netflix culture and this idea about their brand promise, which is really just a quest. This is their mission and it’s something that they share everywhere online.

[1:53] The key takeaways as far as this first item, rethinking your mission, is to define your mission, articulate your purpose, start your quest to change the world. I believe this is absolutely critical.

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