We recently launched a Purpose Statement for Icertis: “Build trust, strengthen bonds, and create a better world.” This is the story of how we crafted our statement and where we are going from here.
Icertis has always had a culture deeply rooted in our values, captured in the acronym FORTE: Fairness, Openness, Respect, Teamwork and Execution. These, combined with our Mission and Vision, have served as a constant as we’ve grown from a small start-up into a global organization trusted by some of the world’s most iconic brands and disruptive innovators.
Our Mission, Vision and Values served us well, and with a great product, strong culture, and a growth mindset, Icertis has gone from strength to strength. So, with all this in place, why a Purpose Statement and why now?
Time to Articulate Our Purpose
Two things spurred us to craft a Purpose Statement:
The first has to do with the market we serve – B2B contract management. By their nature, contracts between organizations play a critical role in the world around them: helping keep promises made, supporting the rule of law, ensuring accountability and transparency. Also, as our business grew, customers shared with us myriad use cases that highlighted the larger purpose contract management served in supporting their purpose-driven initiatives, including ethical sourcing, environmental compliance, and supply chain diversity.
Secondly, we had reached a stage of growth as a company where longer-term questions moved from hypothetical to reality, and we started thinking about how we could do more to give back as an organization. Icertis had always been active in corporate social responsibility and we have a framework, the Four Rings of Responsibility, to help guide us, so developing a purpose statement was our chance to formalize and articulate our thinking.
Best to Go with a Guide
We are on this journey with a fantastic guide – Professor Akhtar Badshah. Akhtar is a veteran of Microsoft’s best-in-class philanthropy efforts, a professor at the University of Washington, and the author of the book “Purpose Mindset”.
Professor Akhtar Badshah (back row, far right), with Icertis Earth Day 2022 volunteers
Akhtar and the team at Catalytic Innovators guided us through a proven process designed to incorporate feedback from across an organization. For us, this entailed working with Icertis’ leadership team in a workshop setting to identify each individuals’ strengths and values, and then each participant crafted their own personal purpose statement.
A small group including our two co-founders, CEO Samir Bodas and CTO Monish Darda, synthesized this output, and combined with the customer and market feedback we had been receiving, drafted the statement you see above.
A Continuation of Our Story
When we landed on our current statement, we had the classic “aha” moment as the final version felt just right because it logically extends the core Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform value proposition we had been sharing with customers for years.
Namely, that ICI uniquely structures and connects contract data, ensuring the intent of every contract is correctly memorialized and fully realized. This helps companies keep their promises to their customers, partners, employees, and each other.
And when we looked through a purpose lens, it was obvious that when companies keep their promises, it builds trust between organizations and people, strengthens the bonds that form the foundation of commerce and society, ultimately helping create a more ethical, equitable, and sustainable (better) world.
Beyond Just a Statement – a Mindset
A Purpose Statement serves as a clear declaration of why we exist as a company and the impact we want to have. As such, it is a critical component of our purpose journey, but it isn’t the only part. Ultimately our goal is to embrace a “Purpose Mindset” that enables Icertians to apply purpose both within their work, and also within the community to be a force for the common good. As part of our journey, we have instituted several programs designed to increase the impact Icertis and Icertians are having through our business in the communities where we live, work and play:
- 7 Day for Humanity Volunteering Program – To make it easier for Icertians to take time to make an impact we give every Icertian seven, fully paid days a year to volunteer for the cause of their choice. In 2021, Icertians spent over 400 days making an impact in their communities around the world.
- Double Your Impact Matching Gift Program – Icertis matches up to $1,000 per year of every Icertian’s donations to registered charities. In 2021, over $50,000 was donated to over 100 charitable organizations by Icertis and Icertians through the Double Your Impact program.
- Expanding usage of ICI by non-profits and community-based organizations for grants management and effective reporting.
We continue to evaluate additional programs and plan to increase our investment as Icertis grows.
The Journey Continues
While articulating our purpose and formalizing our giving programs has been valuable, we think we are really at the start of our journey and the best is yet to come. We are truly excited about the impact Icertis and Icertians can have as we fulfill our mission to “Be the contract intelligence platform of the world”.