066 – Why Purpose Matters
And how it can transform your organisation
Purpose and meaning. It’s what we’re all seeking. But too many of us work for organizations that exist only to squeeze out as much profit as possible. Today’s guests Nicholas Barnett and Rodney Howard explore how to reorient our working lives in their new book Why Purpose Matters. They believe that finding purpose extends beyond the personal and can reshape organizations as well. Rodney and Nick came together when they realized they shared a similar philosophy. That is that people need meaning in their life. Organizations that treat their employees like cogs in a wheel will suffer from poor productivity. People need to believe they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Why do you what you do
Companies are very good at telling you what they do. But almost none of them know why they do it. In fact if you ask their management team they will be shocked at being asked the question. Making money for shareholders isn’t a good enough reason. You need to find a distinctive and unique philosophy for your company.
Employees want more than a salary
People want to have their basic needs taken care of. But the want more than just a salary. They need to know that their work is meaningful. Without that there will be no fulfillment. Once your employees have that fulfillment they will be much more productive and creative.
Don’t lie to yourself
You have to be honest with yourself about the role of your company. If you craft a purpose statement that is cynical it will do more harm than good. Without authenticity in your mission statement you will only alienate your customers and your employees.
It only take four steps
Start by having a conversation with your leadership team about the purpose of your business. They have to all be on board. There is going to be a cost in time and effort so everyone has to be on-board. The next step is to carry out your decisions with honesty. Then you have to engage with your employees to get their feedback and integrate that into your vision. Finally, you have to embed your purpose throughout the organization. There will be backlash and it will take years to follow this through.