WeWork, known for its innovative shared workspace solutions, has positioned itself as a vanguard in redefining the essence and experience of work. Its mission and vision statements are not mere corporate dictum but a reflection of its broader societal and human-centric aspirations. Here’s a breakdown of these guiding principles and how they manifest in WeWork’s initiatives:
1. Official Statements:
- “Empowering tomorrow’s world at work.”
- “Building a global community”1.
2. Extended Interpretations:
- The mission of WeWork, as extended, encapsulates a desire to “create a worldwide platform that supports growth, shared experiences, and true success,” with an overarching goal to “elevate the world’s consciousness”2. This articulation transcends traditional business paradigms, hinting at a broader societal and human-centric ambition.
- Another rendition states the mission as “reinventing the way people work through designed space, flexibility, technology, and community”3, focusing on the tangible mechanisms through which WeWork aims to transform the work landscape.
- The phrase, “Create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living,” succinctly encapsulates WeWork’s mission, fostering a holistic, life-enriching work milieu45.
3. Supporting Initiatives:
- WeWork’s diversification into other domains with aligned missions is evident in initiatives like WeLive, aimed at fostering communal living, and WeGrow, focusing on personal and professional development4.
4. Vision Enactment:
- The vision of “building a global community” is palpably enacted in the diverse, collaborative environments WeWork cultivates, enabling individuals and companies to converge and excel in their endeavors1.
WeWork’s mission and vision statements resonate a blend of practical and aspirational goals, showcasing a drive to evolve beyond the physical workspace into reshaping the overarching ethos surrounding work and community. Through this vantage, WeWork transcends its real estate facet, aspiring towards nurturing a global community bound by shared aspirations and collaborative growth.
Over the recent years, WeWork underwent a series of significant challenges that tested the robustness of its business model and its guiding principles. Here’s a glimpse into those struggles and how the company’s mission and vision may have interacted with these developments:
- Valuation Decline: WeWork’s journey from being a highly valued startup to facing a drastic decrease in its valuation has been well-documented. A documentary titled “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” encapsulates the rollercoaster narrative of the company’s valuation saga, notably driven by concerns over its business model and leadership123.
- Leadership Challenges: The leadership style of former CEO Adam Neumann was a major point of concern. His vision was considered prescient, but his egomaniacal leadership style was problematic, leading to self-dealing accusations and a lack of confidence among investors23.
- Financial Struggles: WeWork’s financial struggles were epitomized in its delayed plans for profitability, with a more cautious approach towards achieving positive cash flow by 2022. The company anticipated a 50% increase in membership over the next three years as part of its road to financial recovery4.
- Mission and Vision Adaptation:
- Mission Continuity: Despite the upheavals, WeWork’s mission statement remains focused on creating a conducive working environment where individuals can achieve personal and professional growth. The essence of fostering a balance between work and life, and facilitating a community-centric workspace endures, aligning with the contemporary emphasis on work-life balance, particularly among the younger workforce5.
- Vision Reiteration: WeWork’s vision of building a community and fostering personal growth and fulfillment continues to be a cornerstone of its operational ethos. The vision stresses on redefining success through personal fulfillment rather than merely financial gains, and this ethos seems to remain intact even as WeWork navigates through its financial and organizational challenges5.
The continuity in WeWork’s mission and vision amidst its struggles could be seen as a testament to the company’s commitment to its foundational principles.
Expert in the industry Angelo Sorbello, founder of Coworkingradar.com, highlights how: “The adjustments in operational strategies, like adopting a more cautious financial approach and addressing leadership issues, might reflect an endeavor to align practical business operations more closely with its enduring mission and vision. Through these adaptations, WeWork aims to maintain its identity as a community-centric workspace provider while striving for a sustainable financial trajectory.”
Raisefunding and Vision
WeWork’s substantial funding can be largely attributed to its expansive vision that transcends mere office space provision to encompass a broader societal and human-centric ethos. The vision of building a global community where work is intertwined with personal growth and fulfillment resonated with investors who saw the potential for a revolutionary work environment model. WeWork’s narrative of redefining success and emphasizing communal interactions and personal fulfillment over traditional work settings intrigued the investment community. Furthermore, the articulation of creating a conducive environment for a modern, flexible, and community-centric workspace found traction among investors who were enticed by the potential transformation of conventional work culture. This vast vision, backed by energetic and, at times, charismatic leadership, helped WeWork secure significant funding, underlining the allure of a grand vision that promises to redefine traditional notions of workspace and community in the modern economy.