Being a Purpose Led Company (Part 2)



Part Two:  Being Purposeful.

Purpose Driven Companies aren’t just purposeful in their mission and vision; they are purposeful in everything they do.  Having a big, company wide purpose-- what we call “a why”-- is a great way check to see if you have alignment in your daily actions. If you don’t yet have a why,  “Being Purposeful” in every action can help you discover and refine your larger purpose.

In this post we will look at how to create a culture of purpose and put “Being Purposeful” to work for your company.  Let’s start by distinguishing the difference between your big purpose, your why in the world, and the day to day purposes that make up the way you deliver on your why.  

Your Why is something that you have (or will craft) that defines the impact you intend to make in the world.  Whether you started your company with a big purpose or you are working to add purpose to your mission and vision, bringing purpose to your day to day culture will exponentially drive up your effectiveness.

Being Purposeful is as simple as it sounds. It means that every thing you do in your business each day has an explicitly declared purpose to it. You might be thinking to yourself, “Ok I do that already.  I don’t do purposeless work.”  But, take a second look at the definition and notice the words explicitly declared.  This is the core of the being purposeful practice. Like the Being For practice, you have to tell people what the purpose of your actions is.

Let’s make this practical.  Take a look at your schedule right now.  Make a note of the next meeting you are in that you are not leading the meeting.  Right now, do you know the purpose of the meeting?  Write it down.  When the meeting starts notice if the leader says what the purpose of the meeting is. If they said what the purpose was, did it match the purpose you wrote on your paper?  If there was no explicitly declared purpose in the meeting, were you clear about the purpose and did the meeting produce that outcome?

Now look at your schedule and note the next meeting you are leading.  Write down the purpose of the meeting as clearly as you can.  Now when you start the meeting say, “The purpose of this meeting is X, Y and Z,”  filling in X, Y, and Z with the purpose you wrote down.  During the meeting, notice when the conversation drifts away from the purpose and redirect the conversation towards producing the result dictated by the purpose.  When the meeting is complete take a moment and write down anything you notice about explicitly declaring the purpose of the meeting.

 

“Being Purposeful” Tips

Great companies are purposeful in everything they do.  A good way to build this in your company is to make purpose explicit.  Here are some tips on how to do this:

  1. If you have big purpose, a why, declare it early and often. Post it on the wall. Make it a header on your internal communications. Repeat it in board meetings.  Purpose conversations are living parts of your business. The minute you forget to talk about the your purpose it starts to lose its power.

  2. Start every meeting with a purpose. Get everyone aligned on the purpose in the first minutes of a meeting before getting started with the work. It’s okay to negotiate the purpose.

  3. Make explicit declarations in both strategic and tactical decisions. That way, every decision comes with a why.

 

Being Purposeful exists in a linguistic domain. The good news about this is if you think there is a lack of purpose in your organization, then what there is to do about that is to start declaring purposes: say it!  And then ask others to say it as well.

If your looking for help in becoming a purpose driven company, we'd be excited to help grow the good in your company.