What is purpose? From a philosophical perspective, the answers are endless. From a business perspective, however, purpose should be something actionable we can apply to ourselves and our work. Purpose should sharpen our thinking, guide our actions and contribute to our sense of satisfaction.
Whether working with individuals, teams or companies, we focus on two aspects of purpose: clarifying purpose and living purpose.
Clarifying purpose is about articulating a compelling and authentic purpose statement. This process requires introspection and time outside the flow of everyday life. It happens infrequently, but should be reevaluated over time.
Living purpose happens every day as we identify and enact ways to reach full potential in all aspects of our lives. This requires mindfulness of purpose and considered application. It happens daily as we live in alignment with purpose. Ideally, it impacts our regular decision-making about individual and collective priorities and action.
Our work in purpose focuses on three aspects:
Finding and Following Purpose (for Individuals): This accessible approach asks participants to reflect on their interests, the activities that they enjoy most, the traits that are essential to their character and the underlying values they hold. Participants write their own individual purpose statements, covering both life and work.
Defining and Synthesizing Organizational Purpose (for Companies/Executive Teams): This collaborative approach results in a high-level agreement on an organizational purpose statement among the executive team or leadership team for a relevant department/vertical.
Connecting and Communicating Purpose (for Teams): In this final step, executives identify and articulate powerful individual stories that link the purpose of each participant to the purpose of the organization.
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