Your Contribution connects Path to Purpose with your products and services. Discover what you bring to the potluck.
When your story starts with your product, everything is about what you can do for others. It’s like a full-service restaurant. Just show up, enjoy the meal and pay the bill.
But when your Narrative starts with your purpose, things need to be more reciprocal and multi-dimensional. Everyone has something to contribute.
It’s more like a potluck where everyone brings a different dish. A potluck doesn’t work if everyone brings the same dish. Or if some people don’t bring anything at all.
Contribution describes what everyone contributes to the Shared Purpose. It’s like a potluck for purpose.
Their Shared Purpose is “to inspire the athlete in all of us.”
The Path to Purpose is the idea of Winning. Nike is the Greek goddess of Victory, and the swoosh reflects her wings. Just getting off the couch is a form of winning. So is wearing shoes that feel good when you run and express who you are.
Here’s the Contribution:
Everyone contributes something.
In effect, Starbucks is saying “We’ll provide the coffee, comfortable couches and wi-fi. You provide the conversation, connection and community.”
The potluck explains why Starbucks “Race Together” initiative was a failure.
Starbucks wanted to promote a dialogue about race relations. The aspiration is consistent with its Shared Purpose “to inspire the human spirit.”
The problem is that the program encouraged people to talk to their barista about the subject. This was inconsistent with the idea of Contribution. It’s not the barista’s job to provide the conversation. Starbucks once again hoarded its purpose.
What Starbucks might have done instead is stayed true to its Path to Purpose of being a third place by inviting others to “wear the T-shirt” of its Shared Purpose.
For example, they could have closed an hour earlier on the first Monday of the month, partnered with organizations expert in holding conversations about race and served free coffee to anyone who joined the conversation.
That way Starbucks would have still made its contribution of coffee and third place—and left the conversation and community to others.
Think about your Shared Purpose as a potluck dinner party. What does everyone need to bring for the party and meal to be complete?
Identifying the other stakeholders and what they each bring to the party helps you see the entire system of what it takes to fulfill your purpose.
Use the following worksheet to capture each stakeholder’s contribution.
It’s fine for each stakeholder to have multiple Contributions. Just be sure they’re as specific as possible.