In order to future-proof our businesses, the most impactful thing we can do as leaders and creators today is to become very clear on our business purpose, as in the very reason why we do what we do as an entity.
This may sound simplistic, but most top leadership teams that go through team development and strategic alignment processes voice a collecting yearning for a clearly formulated common purpose. When you don’t have it, everyone tends to revert to business as usual and what they think the common purpose should be, which fosters dissonance and silo patterns among teams and departments (“my direction is better than yours”).
I’ve been researching business purpose since 2012 and have built a model for exploring purpose that provides leaders with the language to connect the current business reality with their common underlying desire for a positive future.
The model has been tested and refined with hundreds of leaders, entrepreneurs and startups with whom I’ve explored how their business model, brand identity, communication strategy and priorities shift as they place purpose at the core of their work. No matter the focus, the outcome is always a clear identification of the current change gap and a formulation of a simple common statement of purpose that, much like a strong set of values or guiding principles, can be used as a compass for future decision-making.
Counterintuitively, working with business purpose is less about defining something new and more about voicing what was always there, while letting go of old things - outdated structures, perspectives, expectations and behaviours.
Purpose workshops can be constituted as single-day intensives or be embedded within team development and strategic alignment processes.