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Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) versus Vision, Mission, and Core Values

This article elaborates on the concept of Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) in contrast to traditional mission and vision statements within organizations. It discusses how an MTP goes beyond generating profit, fostering radical change and innovation in an organisation for a greater good.

Veronika Kurucz
Veronika Kurucz

Recently completing the ExO Foundations certification from OpenExO, I acquired insights into the framework and principles of exponential organizations. ExO ("Exponential Organisations") refers to a type of organization that leverages exponential technologies and innovative business models to achieve rapid and scalable growth. These purpose-driven entities leverage technology to digitize, automate processes, innovate business strategy, and reach a global audience at scale, outperforming traditional companies.

As a seasoned HR professional with an academic background in Corporate Communication, I was immediately intrigued by one of the core ExO’s attributes: the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). I wanted to explore its contrast with company vision and mission statements, and how it intertwines with the core values of a company. And crucially, how does it influence strategy and employer attractiveness?

Let's start by defining mission, vision, core values, and core purpose, the foundational elements of company culture, before comparing them to the MTP and understanding their impact on organisation and management:

  • Mission Statement: Defines the fundamental purpose, core activities, and target audience of a company.
  • Vision Statement: Paints an aspirational picture of what the company strives to achieve in the long term.

According to Collins and Porras [1] a company's core ideology consists of two main components:

  • Core Values: These enduring guiding principles withstand the test of time.
  • Core Purpose: The fundamental reason for the organization's existence, beyond profit-making, serving as a continuous source of inspiration for change.

This definition of core purpose aligns closely with the concept of the Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) in the ExO framework. MTP, akin to the core purpose defined by Collins and Porras, surpasses traditional mission and vision statements. It transcends profit and market strategies, aiming for a significant, lasting global impact, and stimulating radical change and innovation.

“An MTP is a new paradigm bigger than just a mission statement. It’s a highly aspirational tagline that tries to solve a global issue.” - Salim Ismail, co-author of the book "Exponential Organizations 2.0"

While mission and vision statements delineate "what" and "when," the MTP delves into the "why." It's not solely about financial targets but a highly aspirational tagline providing focused direction to solve major global issues for the greater good.

Notable MTP examples include Google's "Organize the world’s information," TED's "Ideas worth spreading," and Patagonia's "We are in business to save our home planet."

The MTP becomes an organization's pinnacle aspiration, shared within and outside the company, a key attribute of every exponential organization.

Managerial implications of MTP:

  • Depoliticized Company Culture: a strong and well-defined MTP unifies employees, shifting focus from internal politics to a shared purpose, mitigating silo thinking and conflicts.
  • Attracts Top Talent: Aligning personal values with the company's purpose attracts talent seeking fulfillment and impact, not just employment.
  • Innovation Embraced Top-Down: A lived MTP by management encourages risk-taking, prioritizing solutions addressing real-world problems.

In conclusion, while mission and vision statements set a company's direction, an MTP catalyzes a deeper transformation, fueling innovation and creating a shared sense of purpose.

While core values and mission statements are crucial pillars, the reach of an MTP are broader and more profound. An MTP serves as a guiding star, not just for leadership but for every individual within the organization and beyond, rallying diverse stakeholders toward a singular, impactful cause. It permeates the organizational culture, aligning everyone's efforts with a common purpose, transcending mere statements exposed on the company wall to instigate tangible daily actions.

Whether you're a solopreneur or a corporation with thousands of employees, your Massive Transformative Purpose remains the guiding North Star illuminating the path towards sustainable success with lasting impact.

Do you have a strong MTP?

If not, in Salim Ismail's article you will find some useful tips.

Special thanks to Gabriele Petino of Open-X Sagl who inspired me to take part in the OpenExo certification and evaluate its framework for considerations on human resources development.

If you found it useful share it with your network.

For more information about the ExO framework and community visit their website.

[1] Collins, J. C., & Porras, J. I. (1994). Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. New York, NY: HarperBusiness.

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Veronika Kurucz

An HR pro dedicated to unleashing human potential. My MTP: "Become the leader you wished for."