Social Is More About Human Purpose

by Jay Deragon on 09/25/2012

The word purpose means the reason for which something exist. Purpose answers the most compelling human question, Why?

The human network is drawn to people, organizations and things that answer the question of why.  Why represents the pursuit of answers for what reason, cause, or purpose. Given an understanding of what is the reason, cause or purpose the human network can determine whether other people, an organization or a thing identifies with the human soul, purpose.

When organizations use social media then they must consider the impending impact of “social”  on their purpose and the purpose of the people they intend on serving.  The problem is most organizations do not know their true purpose. Profit is not a purpose rather it is an outcome.

When companies think of social media, they hope to get consumers to “like” them or “fan” them, as if that increased connection is meaningful. That captures the marketing aspect but completely misses the strategic point which is creating an identity to human purpose. Unless your organization can create a meaningful identity with the human purpose then your identity has no purpose to the human network.  Read that last sentence again slow.

An Identity of Purpose

Nilofer Merchant new book “11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era” says: An identity that unites people most is a shared value or purpose. When consumers “love” Apple, they are saying they love great design and the shared idea that “thinking differently” is valuable. By “loving” Firefox, the Web community is saying that it believes an open Web browser is valuable to the world. By loving TEDx, a volunteer army of people is saying it believes that smart ideas that get people to think more about their world is a cause worth putting energy into.

Collaborating with people through social purpose creates advantage because it allows everyone to work toward shared goals. When people know the purpose of an organization, they don’t need to check in or get permission to take the next step; they just create value. When people know the purpose, they are not waiting to be told what to do. With social purpose, alignment happens without coordination costs.  

Social purpose is a fundamental way to create value in the Social Era.

These shifts mean that, in the Social Era, we have the ability to reconstitute value. If you believe that purpose answers the most compelling human questions then you might reconsider why you are in business and what does your business mean to the human purpose. Otherwise the human network will be unable to relate and engage purposely. Get it?


Emily Feril September 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm

We trust to the Lord, We asked his guidance to solve our problem and I know we have knowledge. We need to share and help other people, other nation. We know more people hungry, feel sorrow, more killing, earth quake and tsunami happened, all of that is a trial to all of us how strong our faith with him. It’s time all people back on his words we have strong faith, have respect and love your self, family, friends and other people around us. because more people they forgot to pray. LORD; Jesus, touch each of us in this Earth we unite all people and all nation show there respect its one of us and love. We need to respect also other religion. So that the new generation they have a good future. We need peace in this Earth so that we can feel joy, hope, happiness and love, each one of us. Thank you so much lord;Jesus for your love and care. God bless to all of us.

Dick Davies September 25, 2012 at 6:52 am

Dead on and dead strong. What a great post!

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