Create Purpose. Create Relationships. Create Engagement.


Purpose.com Pumpkinfest

 

Each of us have experiences within the context of the video below. We all volunteer, give back to our communities, or do things simply because we enjoy them. Said another way, we live our lives with purpose.

 

Our shareholders have a purpose for investing in us. Our employees have a purpose for working with us. And, our customers have a purpose for buying from us.

 

With this in mind, we are called to create the purpose for our teams in order to shape our shareholder, employee, and customer value propositions. While creating a purpose in your organization has many desirable effects, I want to focus on the correlation of purpose to relationships to engagement.

 

By creating a purpose, we create an opportunity for our teams to build a relationship with the company on a professional, personal, and even an emotional level.

 

  • Professional – A fair exchange of value for money exists. Your skills and role are matched.
  • Personal – A sense of pride comes through, where the employer offers value beyond compensation to include things like learning, attractive experiences, and shared beliefs/culture.
  • Emotional – In these situations, you likely work with people whom you consider some of your closest friends. Said another way, you likely have shared experiences in your work life that reflect relationships and experiences similar to high school or college.

 

Through purpose, you plant the seed of employee engagement that can grow to bear the fruit of professional, personal, and emotional engagement. Of course, you need more than purpose (e.g. values, culture, etc.) for the fruit to ripen, but it all starts with purpose. In turn, engagement of your teams ultimately translates into great products and customer service, thus fulfilling the stakeholder, customer, and employee value propositions mentioned above.

 

What do you do to create an environment to work together with a purpose? Start with purpose, and invest in employee engagement to position your team to delivery the best possible products and services to your customers.

 

 

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Changing the Leadership and Culture


So, you are working your way through a change or transformation effort, and you are 25%, 50%, maybe even 75% of the way through and the efforts or more importantly, the results are fading. There is probably a bit of change fatigue, and there is probably also a bit of lack of leadership. Can you tell the difference? How do you react?

Rarely does anyone argue against the importance of leadership. Leadership is like “motherhood and apple pie”, as an American, it’s hard to argue against. However, how do you position leadership as a critical element in your change efforts. The fact that leadership is “motherhood and apple pie” almost undermines the need to emphasize it within a transformation effort. However, an article from the Center for Change Leadership takes an interesting perspective on this topic.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/27/change-management-innovation-leadership-managing-ccl.html

I propose that, if you find extremely unique competitive differentiators within your business, you can probably leverage them for a profit for a period of time until it becomes commoditized or the rules of your industry change so much that they marginalize your competitive differentiation. Alternatively, if all things are equal (and I have seen dozens of global companies who claim to have unique operational process, but they are not), your teamwork and leadership NEEDS TO BE a competitive advantage. Is it today? If it isn’t today, what are you doing about it? If you are involved in a change or transformation effort, you need to find a way to work into your daily routine an ability to address leadership and teamwork. The Forbes article above outlines some of the considerations for leadership in a transformation. For additional perspective, research the intersection of leadership and change. Ask yourself if you are inspired by your leadership. And if you are a leader, make sure you are inspiring and compelling your enterprise in the most positive manner to change across the obvious (business capabilities and technical enablers) as well as the not so obvious (strategy, culture, skills, and structure). For more on the obvious and not so obvious domains of change, reference my earlier post here http://wp.me/py1Ni-9.