How to Craft a One-Sentence Description of Your Organization’s Purpose


Because purpose plays such an important role in open organizations, I want to share what I’ve learned about how organizations can clarify a purposewho they servehow they serve their core customer and what they celebrate externally.

Say it in four sentences

Bloom’s most significant point is that you must be able to state your organization’s purpose in short sentences. A short sentence will simplify complexity and make vagueness turn crystal clear. Bloom looks at a collection of four targeted sentences he calls “the growth discover process,” which he says produces the necessary clarity.

  • A “who” sentence is about the core customer that most likely will buy your product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit (not a statistic or demographic category, but an imagined person with a personality you can get to know personally).
  • A “what” sentence is about the uncommon offering that your business has and leverages (your special benefit to the customer you identified in the previous sentence).
  • A “how” sentence is about the persuasive strategy and actions you employ to convince your core customer (from the first sentence) to believe in your uncommon offering (from the second sentence) versus all competitive offerings (the interaction customers experience with you that differentiates you from all others that is difficult to copy).
  • An “own it” sentence, as the author calls it, is about a series of imaginative acts and impressions that celebrate your uncommon offering and make it well known to your core customer (your way of showing what you mean to that customer).