Build an Organizational Legacy

Thursday, June 9 2016

A legacy is something passed on to a future generation. Usually it is money or property and much less world changing than most business owners imagine they’ll be leaving. Unfortunately because the vast majority of businesses fail to achieve sustainable growth, most business owners will leave more of an empty space than a pile in their vault; few people line up to get their share of that.

Most of us think of legacy as something beyond worldly goods. A business that continues to exist and contribute to society beyond the tenure of the founder reflects on the good quality of the company’s big plan. Big picture legacies can vary from solving an important problem for society to increasing the quality of customers’ lives; maintaining value to clients and securing jobs for the employees are examples of big picture legacies.

In our strategic planning work we emphasize the importance of having a clearly defined mission. A mission answers the question “why do we exist?” And Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells readers “to begin with the end in mind.” Do you have a role in setting the organization’s strategy? If you haven’t yet answered the “why do we exist” question in a way that aligns with your personal legacy, it might be wise to set aside time this month to do so. Get started determining your legacy.