All organisations that create a big impact have a big, inspiring purpose. Get the purpose right and you will attract support, commitment and resources. For your team it will create a sense of ‘shared endeavour’. It can work hard for you and all you care for.
In ‘Exponential Organizations’ by Ismail, Malone and Geest, they describe it as MTP – Massive Transformational Purpose – a term that invites both scale and ambition, and a calling that the purpose should be truly purposeful; of benefit to many both within but especially beyond the organisation.
So how fit for purpose is your purpose? Can people name it? Is it attracting support and commitment? Does it create shared endeavour?
If your purpose is doing this, fabulous! Now, how about a tip for using it to power up your leadership team/trustee/board meetings? You know – the ones that can get tiresome, dull, unnecessarily adversarial or simply not as efficient as you would like them to be; spend a little time at the start of the meeting talking about it. A purpose statement that’s simple and singular in its wording can often bring very different images of ‘what success looks like’ to mind for different team members. Find out what these are for everyone. Invite everyone in turn to share their image of the purpose in practice. By giving space for people to talk about what the purpose brings to mind for them, people gain insight, inspiration and a deeper sense of connection to what matters to them, and to each other, and to the work together. You enliven and give meaning and focus to all the detail and hard work the team then has to get through in the meeting. Priorities become clearer. Decisions easier. Things flow.
And if your purpose is not bringing a sparkle to people’s eyes and a lift to their heart, or it seems to be different across the organisation and between the players, well, perhaps now is a good time to talk.