All posts filed under: Purpose

Motivation - Step 4 in building a purposeful culture

Motivation: Step 4 in building a purposeful culture

There’s a temptation to believe that the sheer logic of a good decision will sway the crowd; that if you make a good case and present it in an inspiring way, you’ve done everything you need to for that idea to gain instant uptake in an organisational culture. I’ve yet to see that happen successfully. I’ve seen it tried often – “now take that idea and apply it to what you do” – but never in ways that live up to expectations.

Education - building a purposeful culture

Education: Step 3 in building a purposeful culture

Having clearly outlined why change is needed and the opportunity that change could generate, too many culture change programmes then leave people to make the changes themselves without very much more explanation. So often, staff are handed new values and a new purpose, there’s some motivational meetings and perhaps a video and gift, and then the business just expects them to get on with it. The thinking seems to be that this gives people personal empowerment; that it brings the change alive for them.

Inspiration: Step 2 in building a purposeful culture

An amazing thing happens when you ask people to imagine their current workplace working to its potential. First, they smile. Then they hesitate. Then they want to talk about everything that’s wrong and why a better workplace is not real or practical or feasible. If you’re patient though and you persist, slowly, very slowly, they start talking about what’s possible. And once that happens, before long, there are diagrams and dreams and the volume in the room rises from a gentle murmur to an excited buzz. It’s hard to get people to quantify the possibilities. All their disappointments and concerns quickly crowd in to stifle the magic. But if you ask them patiently to put that aside and form a vision of what work should be like, aspiration slowly gets the better of them. This isn’t about creating a dream kingdom. In fact, what works best I’ve found is getting people to forecast what a “better us” looks like – and a key component to achieving that is asking them to find proof for what’s …

Agitation: Step 1 in building a purposeful culture

You can’t and shouldn’t change a culture just for the sake of it. Obvious, right? And yet managers often announce change programmes without referencing and quantifying specific motivations. There’s little doubt that people act more positively and decisively when they are presented with a context for actions. A real context. A pain point they can feel. An opportunity that stares them in the eye and says “Come get me”. So often, the reasons given for changing a culture are far too broad. They’re couched around concepts or theory – productivity gains or the need to downsize or an economic change of fortune. The thing is, none of those reasons sound like reasons. They sound like excuses or, worse, prompts. They’re mantras not motives. In this wonderful article courtesy of Bain & Co, authors Patrick Litre and Kevin Murphy trace the ups and downs of the traditional change programme: Specifically, the Agitation stage of a culture change programme needs to address the three change resistors that cause that significant dip at the start: •  Anchoring locks …

30 things you should tell employees before you change the culture

By Mark Di Somma What sort of information should decision makers share with employees as an organisation prepares to go through a significant cultural shift? These are my thoughts sized in digestible chunks. Order of course may vary. 1.   The future that we now see for the organisation 2.   How we discovered that we needed to change 3.   How quickly we need to change 4.   Why we need to make changes at that pace 5.   How the new vision changes what the organisation intends to achieve 6.   Where our new priorities lie 7.   How this will change the ways we behave 8.   How this will change the ways we compete 9.   How this will change the ways we work 10. How this will change the ways you work 11. How we will now judge success 12. What we think the chances of success are 13. What we will be doing to stack the odds in our favour 14. Where we will be looking to make changes first 15. How far changes will extend …

How do you prevent your corporate culture from stalling?

There is plenty of discussion, quite rightly, about the fact that people are overworked, that they are under ridiculous pressure, that they feel undervalued and unmotivated – but a couple of conversations this week have got me wondering whether the opposite, an unpressured culture, whilst not as destructive, may nevertheless be undesirable, albeit for different reasons. I’m always concerned for instance when people inside a culture tell me that the place they work at is comfortable or that it has a real family feel. In a corporate cultural setting, too often those terms are code for a work force that is happy to leave things as they are. The other word that always rings alarm bells is “busy”. When people tell me they work in a busy workplace, that too is often code – this time for a lot of activity, noise and meetings, but without focus and without measured and effective outcomes. So how much urgency do you need in a workplace? Is some degree of turbulence necessary to keep people on their toes? …

How do you write a great purpose?

A sizzling purpose sets out how a company intends to change the world for the better. Its role is to unite customers and culture alike in the pursuit of that intention. It’s a statement of belief, of hope, of pursuit. It’s born of a wish to see the world put to rights. Having fielded a number of enquiries this week about how to develop a purpose, I thought I’d share how I approach such a critically important task. First and foremost, a purpose should never be developed in isolation. This affects your entire organisation. It should involve the senior leadership team to start with, and then be socialised for discussion. The discussion itself shouldn’t revolve around the words (because that quickly becomes semantic nit-picking). It should focus on the passion, on the biggest belief you share and on the implications of holding that belief for everything you do. Start with the greatest good Don’t tell your people and customers about what you want to see change in the business. State what you fundamentally believe must …

Purpose vs mission and vision

Purpose vs vision and mission

I hope the days of vision and mission statements are nearly over. They’re the paperwork of traditional management models. They’re strategic compliance, and as such, they get deliberated over at great length and then forgotten. For the most part, they’re also self-centred – all about what the organisation wants to achieve for itself, all about how it intends to achieve whatever it deems important. They often don’t suit the much more open, interactive, social ways in which business is increasingly being done.

Seeing past the problem

By Mark Di Somma Every transformation programme I have ever worked on has been set in motion by a problem. And in every case the issue that has galvinised action and that everyone is so focused on answering is not the real problem at all. As Simon Sinek has observed, people intuitively deal with what they know before they deal with the things they don’t know or feel less comfortable dealing with. The easiest question, and the place most people start is “what?” They deal first with the symptoms they can see and quantify. And often they address them with a “how” that is equally familiar – the methodology they always use. But while a particular problem may have set off the trip-wire, in reality that problem is probably a symptom of what’s really happened rather than the real cause. It’s the prompt. And just having a way to address that problem does not guarantee any quality of answer. It simply provides a process for everyone to map to. Do you know the lovely story …