By Laurent Chevreaux, Jose Lopez, and Xavier Mesnard. Originally posted on HBR.org (Harvard Business Review) on November 2, 2014.
Most companies have articulated their purpose — the reason they exist. But very few have made that purpose a reality for their organizations.
Consider Nokia. Before the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, Nokia was the dominant mobile phone maker with a clearly stated purpose — “Connecting people” — and an aggressive strategy for sustaining market dominance. Seeking to extend its technological edge (particularly in miniaturization), it acquired more than 100 startup companies while pursuing a vast portfolio of research and product development projects. In 2006 alone, Nokia introduced 39 new mobile-device models. Few imagined that this juggernaut, brandishing vast resources with such steely determination, could be quickly brought down.