What’s lies beneath organisational purpose?
As an organisational alignment tool and an extra reason to consider a brand, purpose has been around for a while. I wish I had a dollar for every robust discussion I’ve had around whether a business should ‘have’ a purpose. And if brand purpose in itself is an effective driver of consumer behaviour. As a consultancy team, Tickled Pink has worked with a wide range of organisations. We’ve helped discover and embed organisational purposes as part of wider ignition processes. And we’ve been asked to help bring existing purposes into focus by breathing new life into them. But I don’t think it’s possible to work so deeply within organisations without also becoming involved with the people, at all levels. Every time we engage in a project that lets us get to know the senior leaders in an organisation, I’m reminded that within the greater construct of an organisational purpose, are groups of talented individuals who may each have their own personal purpose. In fact I’d go so far as to propose that the most effective and inspiring organisational leaders each have a clearly enunciated personal purpose.
This may or may not be directly connected to the work that the business does. But it will certainly be complementary and be aligned to similar values. Having a personal purpose creates an on-board compass that steers decisions, where energy is put and helps with motivation when personal energy is low. It can also be a valuable perspective mechanism against which ideas and decisions can be measured. Conversely we’ve discovered that where there is a ‘flat and uninspired’ section’ within an organisation’s management team, one possible scenario is that the individuals concerned have fallen out of relationship with their own purpose. It’s incredibly hard to lead convincingly lead if you yourself are feeling directionless. Of course this can simply be a result of falling out of love with the business. Or a myriad of complex issues to do with at-work relationships or events at home. But equally on a number of occasions, we’ve discovered by delving deeper in confidence to that individual’s circumstance, that after years of high performance, they have found themselves distanced from what they truly love. They’ve let go the umbilical cord that connects them to their passion. Or perhaps spent the last decade in an occupational role that had nothing to do with what they truly, deeply care about – but its pull is simply too strong and they can’t ignore it any longer.
The point I’m making is that personal purpose is just as empowering as a shared collective or organisational purpose. When the two are held in loose harmony, the potency increases incrementally. And the individual is once again connected to their deepest motivations, bringing fulfilment, joy, focus and a wellspring of energy to the organisation or team that they lead.