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© Transition Support  Last Edit 15/12/2017 00:29:20 

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In simple terms, an organization's purpose is its reason for existence and its mission is the journey it is currently taking. They answer completely different questions. This should not be confused with a project purpose and mission. The purpose of any particular business may be determined by asking “What is our business and what should it be?” The common view is that the purpose of a business is to make money but attitudes are changing as we emerge from the customer revolution of the 70s and 80s into a stakeholder revolution of the new millennium. A view becoming more accepted is that stakeholders are the parties that contribute to an organization’s wealth-creation capacity and benefit from it. We can therefore conclude that the purpose of a business is to create wealth for its stakeholders. But this is the purpose of any business not a any particular business.

The Mission is clarified by top management confirming the direction in which the organization is currently proceeding - it is the journey it si undertaking.  The mission may be determined by asking the question “What are we trying to do?”

Purpose is also static, it does not change because it reflects the basic concepts upon which a business has been built. It should provide a reason for the mission, a reason for the journey.

What is the difference between an organization's purpose and its mission?