The popularity of the term purpose shows that there is a growing need to reflect on fulfillment in life.
It’s important to understand that we cannot simply outsource purpose as a task for consultants and designers. That’s the way fake purpose is created. Instead, we should always start purpose projects with listening inside to us individually. This way, we create meaning for our life, including work.
Let’s dive into the 5 main points for impactful purpose projects:
#1: Watch the energy
Discussing individual needs unleashes intrinsic motivation.
Research shows that fulfillment in life and at work go hand in hand. That’s why most of us want to work on something that is meaningful. Start with one of the proven methods that help us find out what drives us — from Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to approaches derived from the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai (“Iki” = life; “gai” = valuable).
#2: Include the leaders from the beginning
It will almost certainly help to widen the picture.
On a more personal level, involving executives in reflections provides a possibility to meet managers as humans, with their struggles and challenges. Such ‘internal pluralities’ are a normal human condition, according to German communication psychologist Friedemann Schulz von Thun. Overcoming them releases synergies for the big picture.
#3: See yourself as part of the system
We need to overcome the polarity of ‘us versus them’.
Now is the time to acknowledge that we are all part of networks and ecosystems. As humans, we exist in exchange and dialog with others. Entering such conversations with our own sense and awareness of purpose can only help. It’s actually a basis for respectful and fruitful dialog by providing orientation in a maze of voices.
#4: Count on diverse exchange
Individual purpose only starts to make sense in dialog.
In conversations that include different perspectives and the following actions we can realize the impact that we hope to make. It’s the opportunity to find a common ground in society and organizations and to act accordingly in a responsible way, with a long-term perspective.
#5: Let the magic happen
Together, we have the chance to create positive momentum.
Collective purpose will emerge from listening to individual purposes. It’s in the room, based on a deeper understanding of what impact, for example, a company can and wants to make. My bet is that impact defined in this way will be much more significant than something invented from outside.
I hope that individual purpose becomes a right for everyone.
Let’s join the movement together!