Path to Purpose: How You Get There Matters
While Simon Sinek has made famous the phrase start with why, often the “how” is underappreciated or overlooked when it comes to companies realizing the maximum impact of their purpose.
Like a lighthouse, conscious leaders not only need to guide the way forward, but also scan the entire landscape from all angles to help teams focus on how to make the most impact versus sticking with the status quo that may ultimately dilute your purpose over time.
Every organization has a standard set of activities and processes that guide the work, demonstrate progress and allow them to achieve results.
But to be truly purpose-driven in business, we need to focus on getting better at delivering impact. This starts with looking at how you’re approaching challenges, how you’re innovating and how your team is working toward your purpose. The “how” matters and it shows us where time may be wasted or where we have gaps.
If we examine the effort and measure the impact, we can analyze those activities that have a high cost and lower reward/impact. We may be able to perform some process improvements to change the cost of impact, or increase the output. But be aware that the process to fulfill your purpose can be full of high-cost, low-reward activities, and it’s important to streamline or critical path those activities to ensure your purpose is fulfilled with the greatest impact.
How teams deliver on purpose has a lot to do with intentional decisions on where to focus.
And, it’s not always easy, because some of the activities we review looking back from our purpose, are meaningful and may be creating revenue but they can also be off center from achieving significant impact. There is a tendency to want to keep these activities if they fulfill the comfort of status quo, but often they require more effort, manpower and time than you realize.
Leaders need to help their organizations focus and stand steady on their purpose, even in the worst of storms (#pandemic). Navigating the inevitable rough waters that can occur when a purpose involves disruption, change, transformation or innovation is the challenging work that most purpose-driven companies sign up for. The greater the impact, the more inspiring your purpose becomes, so don’t forget to pay attention to how you’re getting there.