Use the “Purpose Filter” to Make Decisions

Posted by Kristin Arnold on August 8, 2018

Check out how the new Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman talks about how she shifted the company’s purpose from being “the undisputed leader in weight loss to a much more holistic partner in people’s health and wellness.”

She realized that they needed to completely redefine the purpose, mission, vision and strategy of the organization. Yikes!  That’s a HUGE undertaking!

“So we brought a team together from within the organization and did a tremendous amount of work.  And we built what we called our impact manifesto,” Grossman says. “And we redefined their purpose as “inspiring healthy habits for real life – for people, for families, for the world – for everyone.”

What’s cool about this impact manifesto, is that it rolls up purpose, mission, vision and strategy all into one place  – and in 233 words!

Okay, looks great on paper.  So how does a mammoth organization like Weight Watchers implement such grandiose impact manifesto?

Grossman subscribes to a tool called the “purpose filter,” a sort of internal checklist of values that matter for Weight Watchers and their stakeholders.

Here’s how they use it at Weight Watchers: “Every single decision we make, we put through the purpose filter.  And  a great example of what changed is – if we are really going to be a health and wellness company, then every product that has our name on it, every program that we do has to fit that.  And they didn’t all fit that.  So we stated that we are getting out any products that might have our name on them that had artificial ingredients, preservatives, sweeteners.”


Guess what?  About 70% of their products didn’t meet the test – and so they have gone back and reformulated or tossed that offering!

Grossman continues to explain, “But what that also allowed us to do was to say in addition to our recruitment and retention which is the driver of our business, we’re going to own the healthy kitchen and products.  We’re going to own wellness travel and hospitality.  It actually empowered people to understand you’ve got to make the right decisions and then you manage the business strategically. It will ultimately end up increasing the trajectory of our business.”

Love this – The power of purpose, and then having a tool to help make decisions in alignment with that purpose!

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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