“People do not respond for long to small and self-centered purposes or to self-aggrandising work. Too many organisations ask us to engage in hollow work, to be enthusiastic about small-minded visions, to commit ourselves to selfish purposes, to engage our energy in competitive drives…”Margaret Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers
Most organisations have a purpose. It’s probably a good idea to start with purpose in a general sense, before we try and define evolutionary purpose.
It is relatively rare for groups of human beings to connect in a semi-formal way, unless there is a shared task that cannot be completed by any one individual working alone.
The purpose doesn’t need to be formal, but it does need to be understood by more than one person. Tension arises when one or more of the members of the group doesn’t agree with the purpose, or thinks the purpose is something different to everyone else in the group… Like the player on your social football team who takes it really seriously when everyone else is in it for fun.
It’s what Simon Sinek refers to as your “why”. It’s the thing that people can connect with. It helps them understand what you’re about and where you’re coming from. It can turn a random group of strangers into a team, however briefly, and it can enable the co-ordination of complex systems when it is communicated effectively.
Unfortunately, the state of ‘purpose’, overall, is woeful. Many organisations equate profit with purpose, assuming that any product or service that generates a decent return is therefore… decent. Still more allow their purpose to be derived from legislation or a disclosure statement designed for potential investors.
- Do you know how to listen in for your organisation’s evolutionary purpose?
- Do you know how to translate what you hear into language that others can relate to?
- Do you know how to teach others to listen in for that purpose to guide their decisions?
- Do you know how to ‘evolve‘ traditional’ business tools to unlock your organisation’s true potential?