The Big Purpose Quiz

Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke

If you want to create confusion in a group of consultants, you should start a discussion about the purpose of organisations. There is always someone who starts explaining (with an underlying tone of “why do I always have to explain the basics?”) what a purpose is, and what the difference is between purpose, mission, vision and values. For a moment it seems to be clear, but that never lasts long. Especially the boundaries between purpose and mission are blurry (or was it between purpose and vision?).

Time for the BIG Purpose Quiz. The main question is number 2: are you able to match 62 organisations with their purpose/ mission statement?

1. What is the purpose of an organisation?

a. “Defining purpose is a straightforward proposition. In its simplest form, purpose is the organisation’s reason for being (-).  It is a combination of vision, mission, and values. To define the purpose, you want to ask three questions: What is our vision? What is our Mission and What are our values”.  (Ref John Baldoni: Give your organisation a reason to believe in itself).

b. “The Purpose of an organisation is not the answer to the question “What do you do?” which typically focuses on products, services and customers, but rather the answer to the question “Why is the work you do important?” (Ref. Sheila Margolis: What is an organisation’s purpose?“).

c. “Vision = The picture of our desired future state. Mission = What we do and who we serve to get there.  Values = The beliefs that underpin our behaviours in order to make mission and vision a reality.  Purpose = Why we do all this in the first place, why we exist”. (Ref. Gina Hayden: What is your organisation’s purpose?).

d. “A mission statement is a short sentence or paragraph used by a company to explain, in simple and concise terms, its purpose(s) for being. These statements serve a dual purpose by helping employees to remain focused on the tasks at hand, as well as encouraging them to find innovative ways of moving towards an increasingly productive achievement of company goals”. (Ref. Investopia: Mission Statement).

e. “You begin with a purpose. A purpose is the “why” your organisation has begun a journey, guided by the deeply-held values and beliefs that inspire it to make a difference”.  (Ref. Brian Sooy: The difference between purpose and mission).

2. From which organisations are the following purpose/ mission statements?


1. Belong anywhere.

2. Changing business for good.

3. Driving prosperity through transport solutions.

4. Empower people to experience the world.

5. Inspire the world, create the future.

6. Improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation.

7. The maintenance of international peace and security.

8. To provide the best customer service possible.

9. We mobilise personal, social and business networking.

10. To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

11. We save people money so they can live better.

12. To improve the health and happiness of the world.

13. To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.

14. To build trust in society and solve important problems.

15. Discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives.

16. Connect, protect, explore and inspire the world through aerospace innovation.

17. To create a better everyday life for the many people.

18. To be a company that inspires and fulfils your curiosity.

19. We push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines.

20. To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.

21. Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

22. To pioneer nutritional discoveries that help people live longer, healthier lives.

23. Empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.

24. Innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives.

25. To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

26. We make medicines that help people live longer, healthier, more active lives.

27. To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.

28. To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.

29. To connect everybody to live a better today and build a better tomorrow.

30. To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

31. To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.

32. To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.

33. To provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day.

34. We brew great beers, we build great brands and are committed to surprising & exciting our consumers everywhere.

35. To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

36. We enable our clients to make informed decisions and well-considered investments as they develop our natural and built environment.

37. To deliver information on the people, ideas and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision makers.

38. Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.

39. To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.

40. To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilising the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

41. To make unique sports cars that represent the finest in Italian design and craftsmanship, both on the track and on the road.

42. To help our clients create such high levels of economic value that together we set new standards of excellence in our respective industries.

43. To prepare and sell quick service food to fulfil our guest’s needs more accurately, quickly, courteously, and in a cleaner environment than our competitors.

44. We will lead the way to the future of mobility, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people.

45. Our purpose goes beyond what we sell. We’re using our reach to be a positive force. For our customers. Our people. Our communities. Our world.

46. To help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care.

47. To be the most creative and thoughtful investment consultants in the industry, helping clients of all types to achieve results through sophisticated, client centric options.

48. To succeed requires the highest standards of corporate behaviour towards everyone we work with, the communities we touch, and the environment on which we have an impact.

49. With our research-driven specialty businesses, we help patients, customers, partners and our communities around the world to live a better life. We deliver entrepreneurial success through innovation.

50. To help our clients make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements in their performance and to build a great firm that attracts, develops, excites, and retains exceptional people.

51. Whatever the challenge, we deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes for our clients. We work collaboratively to create value through built and natural assets that work in harmony with their surroundings.

52. To be the most hospitable company in the world – by creating heartfelt experiences for Guests, meaningful opportunities for Team Members, high value for Owners and a positive impact in our Communities.

53. We make real what matters by setting the benchmark in the way we electrify, automate and digitalise the world around us. Ingenuity drives us and what we create is yours. Together we deliver.

54. To earn customers for life by building brands that inspire passion and loyalty through not only breakthrough technologies but also by serving and improving the communities in which we live and work around the world.

55. To undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

56. We are committed to giving people and organisations the space they need to realise their dreams and ambitions. We do this because we believe the world is a better place when people are in charge of their own lives, their own development and their own growth.

57. We go deep to unlock insight and have the courage to act. We bring the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive transformation. We work with our clients to build the capabilities that enable organisations to achieve sustainable advantage. We are shaping the future. Together.

58. Our purpose is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. We want to help shape a better and healthier world. We also want to inspire people to live healthier lives. This is how we contribute to society while ensuring the long-term success of our company.

59. We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.

60. We believe all sustainable progress is driven by people with the imagination and determination to improve their future and the futures of those around them. We empower people and organisations to realise their own vision for a better future – however modest or grand. Our purpose therefore is: Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.

61. As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, our mission is to provide consumers around the world with delicious, affordable, convenient and complementary foods and beverages from wholesome breakfasts to healthy and fun daytime snacks and beverages to evening treats. We are committed to investing in our people, our company and the communities where we operate to help position the company for long-term, sustainable growth.

62. We believe that oil and gas will remain a vital part of the global energy mix for many decades to come. Our role is to ensure that we extract and deliver these energy resources profitably and in environmentally and socially responsible ways. We seek a high standard of performance, maintaining a strong and growing long-term position in the competitive environments in which we operate. We aim to work closely with our customers, our partners and policymakers to advance a more efficient and sustainable use of energy and natural resources.


The purpose/ mission statements of the following organisations are in the list:

ABN AMRO, AirBNB, Amazon, Amnesty, Aon Hewitt, Arcadis, AstraZeneca, Bain & Co, BBC, BCG, Boeing, Booking, Burger King, Cisco, Coca Cola, Danone/Nutricia, Deutsche Telekom, Eli Lilly, Facebook, Ferrari, Forbes, GM, Google, Headspace, Heineken, Hilton, Hyatt, IKEA, ING, LinkedIn, McDonalds, McKinsey, Medecins san Frontiers, Merck, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Nordstrom, Novartis, Pepsico, Pfizer, P&G, Philips, PWC, Red Cross, Samsung, Shell, Siemens, Sony, Starbucks, Sweco, Tesla, Toyota, Trip Advisor, Twitter, UN, Unilever, Virgin, Vodafone, Volvo, Wallmart, Zappos


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