This week’s focus: I’ve always been slightly dismissive of mission statements, feeling that, all too often, they’re simply an exercise in committee–driven corporate-speak. So, it was refreshing to be reminded this week of the power of mission and purpose on mindset and leadership behaviours.

As part of a strategy meeting, one member of an executive team asked to review the company’s ‘core purpose’ statement, feeling that it was no longer relevant to the organisation’s situation. After a bit of fumbling around on phones to try and find the current purpose, the rest of the team realized he was correct: it wasn’t fit for purpose.

I asked the team why the business existed, over and above a desire to make money? At first, I got the traditional ‘corporate-speak’ responses, but as I asked the question ‘Why?’ a couple more times, more genuine, personal and meaningful responses emerged.

In the end, the team created a short statement that was both warm and relevant. What’s more, the team themselves now have an even bigger shared understanding of why they’re doing what they’re doing. As a result, the discussion helped them with some decisions they made later in the session.

Is it time to challenge your own team’s or organisation’s purpose? Why not get your team together and ask why it really exists? You never know, you may generate a discussion that allows both yourself and your people to more fully engage with the real meaning and purpose of your work?

Off The Record: Smithers-Jones  by The Jam

Here we go again, It’s Monday at last

He’s heading for the Waterloo line

To catch the 8 am fast, It’s usually dead on time

Hope it isn’t late, Got to be there by nine

© Stuart Cross 2018. All rights reserved.