Pondering my days in corporate, I realise that whilst I loved my work which I was zealous about, the job had an emptiness to it which meant it had an expiry date. And after running the NYM14 and raising money for charity, that emptiness became even more noticeable.
The great resignation is a reminder that bringing meaning to our work is more critical than ever before. And there are a few ways of doing this - at an individual, team and organisational level. The work we do in helping organisations, teams and individuals define their north star is the most important and rewarding of all.
So, what is it, why is it important, how do you find out and how do these 3 layers of organisation individual and team interlink?
I often refer to it as SVP or SVPV - Strengths, Values, Purpose, Vision.
At an organisational level, this is foundational to culture, and culture is foundational to strategy. And everything happens through people. Identifying your strengths, articulating your Values and Purpose aids organisational direction – a north star if you like. It becomes a framework for decision making, a way of setting expectations and ensures you are intentional about the culture you are cultivating. More importantly, Purpose enables organisations to bring meaning to what they do by clearly articulating their contribution to the community beyond products or services. And at a team level, all these same principles apply, as they do at an individual level.
My purpose, have a positive impact, a conversation at a time took a while to land back in 2016, and it's helped guide the direction I’m still moving in today. And so early on we invested energy into defining this for PeopleQ’s, our purpose being positive enduring change through conversations impacting culture. And our vision - Thriving cultures! Whenever I’m challenged or feel stuck, I anchor to purpose to guide my choice points and cultivate the resilience needed to adapt, overcome and be agile. I have had many moments of late where some challenging conversations and directives have emerged. I could spend my time drowning in these moments, or anchor to my steadfast north star to guide me through with poise, decisiveness, and confidence.
Defining and articulating your Strengths, Values and Purpose is the ultimate north star for any organisation, team or individual. And this is where I want to express a few views on Mission Statements. Mission Statements are essentially a combination of your why + strategic intent + culture + focus, the how and what, and include vision (aspirations for the future). Mission statements are long, hard to remember and generally for the benefit of shareholders and investors. Today these are superseded by Purpose!
Purpose rises through research, science and human endeavours to leave the world better than you found it, unlike mission statements that rose through management practices. And Purpose benefits everyone. It’s a way of being within the organisation, and a way of communicating to the outer world your good intentions. It’s memorable and articulated with a few words.
The easy part though, to a certain extent, is the work needed to define it in a way that genuinely relates to your organisation, team or to you as an individual. The harder part is what comes after this step, embedding and activating it – bringing it to life!
Imagine a workplace where individuals and teams can see the direct link between their own purpose and values and that of the organisation or team? That to me sounds like a resilient thriving culture.
Lately we've facilitated a number of these sessions with boards, executive teams and small businesses, and the feedback is the same. We're told they've done many of these sessions before but this was WOW, by far the best with immense value, and they remind us every time we see them.
We believe it's because we've spent years immersed in Purpose, Values and Strengths as part of what we do, and who we are. We live and breathe it, it's not just research, and we continue to immerse ourselves in everything Purpose driven. As a result, we've built a program that helps teams quickly get to Purpose.
Let us guide you to find your organisation/team Purpose. Contact us to start the conversation.