Inspire Members & Volunteers with a Life-Changing Massive Transformative Purpose

How many members can recite your association’s mission statement? What about staff? Mission statements are the result of lengthy deliberation and wordsmithing. But what good are they if people don’t know or remember them? 

If members aren’t emotionally connected to your association’s mission statement, if they can’t recall it, if they don’t rally around it, then what’s the point?

Maybe what your association and members need is a Massive Transformative Purpose, a highly aspirational tagline that rolls off the tongue, speaks to the heart, and inspires action. 

What is a Massive Transformative Purpose?

A Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) is a powerful purpose statement that an individual or organization can’t help but share with the world. This highest aspiration gives meaning to a person’s life or organization’s work. It’s the defining purpose for their existence.

The MTP concept was first introduced in 2014 by Salim Ismail, a former executive director at Singularity University, in his book Exponential Organizations. Nowadays, futurist Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Singularity University and the XPRIZE Foundation, promotes MTP in his writing and the educational programs, innovation labs, and initiatives offered by these two organizations.

Real-life examples of MTPs 

To give you a sense of what MTPs look like in real life, here are a few from well-known companies.

Google: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Singularity: To support entrepreneurs to positively impact the lives of one billion-plus people.

SpaceX: To revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.

Wikipedia: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

XPRIZE: To incentivize and accelerate radical breakthroughs toward an equitable and abundant future for humanity.

The impact of an MTP on your association and members

Both people and organizations benefit from an MTP, but let’s focus first on how your association can use an MTP.

•    Guide decisions, strategies, and tactics. Focus your organization’s attention externally on your members, industry, and other stakeholders. 

•    Keep your association on track when facing distractions. Help you see opportunities that align with your MTP and mission.

•    Help break old models and think outside constraints.

•    Inspire innovation—new products, services, and activities.

•    Give meaning to the work of staff and volunteer leaders. 

•    Better attract and retain staff and volunteer leaders.

•    Create an emotional connection and rallying cry that inspires and drives members, staff, and other stakeholders toward meaningful, positive change. 

People seek purpose in community. In decades past, a higher percentage of Americans belonged to churches and civic organizations where they found this meaning, but that is no longer the case for many. An MTP helps connect what your association does to a greater sense of meaning and purpose. It helps you build a community and create a movement by giving voice to your members’ collective aspirations. 

When adopted by companies, a focus on MTP enables exponential growth—that’s the promise made by Diamandis. 

An MTP fuels your journey to make a difference. It empowers and inspires people. It serves as a compass or North Star. An MTP also serves as a filter by helping you decide what to do and what not to do with your time.

massive transformative purpose as a compass

The elements of an effective MTP

These questions can help craft an MTP for a person or organization. 

•    What gives you energy and drives you? What is your big Why? What is your unique purpose? Why does your organization exist?

•    Whom are you serving? For whom do you want to be a hero?

•    What change in the world do you want to achieve? How do you want to make the world a better place? What problem are you trying to solve? 

•    What action verbs describe what you want to do?

You’ll know you’re on the right track if your MTP:

•    Is uniquely yours.
•    Feels true for you—and you are proud to say it out loud for all to hear.
•    Is bold and massive.
•    Is externally focused.
•    Is simple and easy to understand.
•    Is transformative.
•    Is purpose-driven and inspires action.
•    Is driven by emotional energy that fuels your drive to pursue big dreams.
•    Appeals to hearts and minds.
•    Gets you out of bed in the morning. 

And you are willing to commit your life to it, or at least the next decade. Moonshot Planner is a generative AI engine that can help you develop an MTP and a Moonshot—an ambitious goal.

MTP as your association’s North Star

Crafting an MTP is an opportunity to reimagine or reaffirm your association’s purpose, solve problems and overcome challenges, and position your organization for the future through new strategies, audiences, and partnerships.

An ambitious, galvanizing MTP helps an organization align actions with purpose. If a program no longer serves your MTP, sunset it. You can’t afford to waste energy and never achieve your MTP.

An MTP project at the continuing education department at the University of Cape Town reenergized their vision and potential as individuals and as a team. One staff member said, “I feel more determined and focused on the future and it did wonders for me personally and professionally… [The MTP] provided a strong foundation for us to negotiate changing circumstances that we might face in the future.”

Introduce the MTP concept to members and their companies 

Share this transformative tool in articles, podcasts, or videos that help members understand the MTP concept. Find out if any members or member companies have MTPs of their own. 

Host a free member webinar about the MTP concept, then see if there’s interest in a paid course or workshop on developing organizational MTPs that align with corporate visions and values. Provide instruction in:

•    Getting buy-in from stakeholders
•    Communicating and rallying people around the MTP
•    Creating a strategic roadmap to achieve the MTP
•    Managing this change effectively
•    Fostering an environment that encourages innovation and resiliency in the face of challenges
•    Cultivating a culture that embraces the MTP
•    Evaluating progress towards the MTP

Provide resources and templates for crafting MTP statements and strategic plans. Feature a video case study or newsletter series highlighting members who have successfully adopted MTPs. 

Teach members how to develop an individual MTP

Diamandis says the probability of success is much higher when people develop their MTP alongside others in cohorts of four or more people. Cohorts provide a collaborative and supportive environment that fosters learning and innovation. Peers can help each other see things more clearly and hold each other accountable for progress. 

Help members form small groups based on business type or size, level of experience, or professional role. It’s easier for members to find non-competing cohort mates in a virtual program. Include on-demand content, live virtual meetings, and online discussion forums. Invite industry experts or leaders who have successfully implemented MTPs for themselves or their companies to speak to program participants.

At the very least, introduce the Massive Transformative Purpose concept to your members. If the interest is there, you may end up adopting it for your association or including it in your educational programming. If you have the chance to transform someone’s life, isn’t it worth a try?

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