During lockdown, I worked with a senior client who had navigated their organisation through some high stakes and high-profile potential risks; on the outside, they presented a positive picture yet inside, they felt discombobulated and were questioning whether or not this business and role was right for them, and even if they should be working.
When we unpacked it, it became apparent that the Pandemic had disconnected them from their sense of purpose and why they did what they did. The answer for them was not to change career, it was to reconnect with their purpose and ask, ‘why do I do what I do?’.
It was one of those spine tingly moments where the pieces all fall into place – he connected back to his why – to help individuals to have a better life. Previously, he had brought this to life by thinking of the life of someone he called Tom, he had a whole story about Tom and how his work could make a huge difference to him. Tom was the anchor and reason why he did what he did.
It is not just individuals who are relooking at their purpose – McKinsey have come out and said they want to “lean into” the crisis, committing itself to more conscious social purposes.
The Pandemic is changing all of us and as people change, organisations will change. We need to have conversations to recognise these changes and realign with our collective purpose. When we gather around a meaningful purpose, then people will organise and collaborate. If you are looking at your culture and how the pandemic has impacted it, then exploring your collective purpose will help.
Here are some questions to answer together, to reflect & reimagine why we do what we do:
- At this point in time, how connected do you feel with our collective purpose? And why?
- Has this changed during the Pandemic?
- What does our collective purpose personally mean for you?
- How do you think the future will impact our purpose?
- How well are we living it?
- What has changed in the wider world that is impacting this?
- What do you care about? If we could change one thing in our world today, what would it be and how could we start that?
Image: Nick Fewings @Unsplash.com