Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies


November 10, 2006


Nikos Mourkogiannis


Senior Partner, Panthea Global Consulting, London


What is at the core of every great company? How do leaders and companies create sustained competitive advantage? In Purpose, Nikos Mourkogiannis shows that companies have forgotten one of the most important aspects of strategy: a sense of purpose. Strategy is management’s plan for a company, but Mourkoggianis argues that long before planning, companies must have purpose—a set of values that defines a company and inspires its employees. Rather than organization and structure, such core ideas are what determine a company’s success. Mourkogiannis outlines purpose in four key ways:

  • Discovery of the New: IBM, Intel, Sony
  • Excellence: Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, BMW
  • Heroism: Microsoft, Ford, Exxon Mobil
  • Altruism: The Body Shop, Marriott

Once Purpose is in place, planning, motivation and success can begin.


Nikos Mourkogiannis

Nikos Mourkogianis is a senior partner at Panthea, a global consulting firm advising chairmen and CEOS on leadership. He helped create the Harvard Law School Center on Negotiations with Roger Fisher, and has worked on some of the most complex and important business deals of the last thirty years. As a young man he escaped war torn Greece and enrolled at Harvard which eventually led him to work with the Defense department of the US government, working with the Secretary of State on the Camp David Accords. In addition, Markogiannis has worked all over the world for multinational companies such as Westinghouse, General Dynamics, and others.