Researches are showing that purpose-inspired organisations tend to outperform their competitors. It also shows that most organisations’ leaders believe that purpose is important for the long-term success. So what is a purpose-inspired organisation and why would you care about working for one?
An organisation purpose is “an aspirational reason for being, which inspires and provides a call to action.” (EY Beacon Institute). A purpose is not about economic exchanges or returns to shareholders. It is about wanting to make a difference for others. It is the legacy to leave behind. Purpose explains how the people involved with an organisation are making a difference, gives them a sense of meaning, enables their passion and draws their support. When you are part of a purpose-inspired organisation, you are more likely to believe in its future success. You are also able to connect on a deeper level and express your own values and purpose through work.
Organizations whose primary focus is on their own financial performance do not create the competitive differentiation or emotional engagement with their customers that is required for lasting success. 87% of consumers believe companies perform best over time if their purpose goes beyond profit. Simon Sinek explains why it is important to create an emotional engagement in his famous talk (watched over 5M times) start with why – how great leaders inspire action.
Not all of us find purpose in the work we do, and hence we drag with us this nagging feeling that we were meant for something greater.
An article published by the NY Time (Why you hate work) found Employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations — the highest single impact of any driver for employees’ satisfaction. These employees reported 1.7 times higher overall job satisfaction and they were 1.4 times more engaged at work.
Profit and purpose do not contradict, but rather complement each other. It is important to find a healthy balance for focus. However an overemphasis on profit points the organization inward, employee’s tend to focus on short-term gains, leaders often get distracted by novel trends, tend to give up when the going gets tough, silos build, and mediocrity eventually prevails. It is easy to see why purpose inspired organisation that creates loyal and passionate customers and partners and engaged employees has better chances of creating long-lasting success.
@Hadas Wittenberg is a Future of Work Enabler
“Being an entrepreneur is living a meaningful and adventurous life; it requires courage, commitment, and curiosity to learn” Hadas
It has been six months since I created this definition for myself. Many things happened that mixed work and personal life, I had to develop new skills and face new and sometimes uncomfortable realities. In retrospect, it’s definitely shaping to be one of the most interesting adventures I have taken in my career. Here are my top 3 takeaways
Most of us live a very busy and demanding life: wake up, go to work, deal with the politics, get paid, manage our personal life, go to sleep, wake up and start again. How much of that is really to do with your passion, with your purpose?. I thought I was making the most out of it, and then I got out of the formal job world for a bit and I discovered the power of being single-minded. Focus on one thing.
I spend my days only on the things that matter to me with no purposeless meetings, no meaningless PowerPoints, only work that has value. Being focus enables everything you do to be part of your purpose. This is regardless of whether you are investing your energy with a family member, helping a colleague or developing a product.
I am realistic that my work context may change, but the experience made it very clear to me that focusing only on the things that matter has to be my way of working from now.
Learning and reflection time
I remember a conversation a few years ago with a frustrated executive. Employee engagement results came back and one of the top areas of concerns for the employees was learning and development. It made no sense. The organisation had a sizable training budget and fast-changing work requirements meant people had lots of opportunities to learn something new. True. What people didn’t have was the time for retrospects and no time to embed new knowledge into useful skills before rushed to the next thing. Hence, no real learning and development.
In the last six months, I really got it. There are many hours where I am busy doing something (usually new), researching a new topic or meeting someone. But it is the ability to have the time in between, doing something different that allows for new insights to surface and new learning to become useful.
By (my) definition as an Entrepreneur, you innovate to disrupt. This means that in many cases people might intellectually engage with the need for your product but not for them as they don’t really want to be changed. When you are on your own or part of a small team, this can be daunting.
Grit is one of the qualities we will need more and more in the future. I, for example, am taking one pill of grit a day. It contains the following ingredients: a reminder of the purpose and why I do what I do, a conviction that this is really going to make a positive difference in the world and a sprinkle of fun. 🙂
“If you want to change the world, start with yourself.” Mahatma Gandhi
@Hadas Wittenberg is a future of work enabler and founder of Adaptive-Futures.