4 Tips to Align Your Organization's Purpose to Your People
The success of an organization is often measured in terms of revenue and profit. When these indicators drop, managers do what they can to improve; usually exercising more control and setting higher expectations to reach the organization’s objectives.
However, there is an alternative approach for organizations to align their purpose to their people. This is done by embracing how employees and teams make a meaningful contribution to the common purpose and taking advantage of each of their unique strengths.
The Harvard Business Review article “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization” by Robert E. Quinn and Anjan V. Thakor provides 8 steps to align the people and purpose of an organization. Let’s take a look at our experience at Ignite Consulting and how we align our organization to optimize our performance. Hopefully you will be able to take away something to implement within your own organization.
Discover – Prior to starting a project, we perform a SWOT analysis of the organization we are working with. That is identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that all factor into reaching the goal of the project. This discovery allows us to help our clients form plans for the delivery of their change and leave no stone unturned whether it’s properly cascading communications or knowing where the biggest risks lie. Without discovery, you are blindly implementing a change, and more likely than not, it will go poorly.
Take ownership – The pronoun “we” shows that everyone is part of a greater purpose within the organization. In our previous blog, we recall how a NASA janitor told President Kennedy his job was an important part of putting “a man on the moon.” As a small company with different talents and diverse backgrounds, we each work in different roles and teams to help our clients ignite and sustain organizational change. For us the result is typically a successful outcome for our clients, which in turn spells success for our consultants and our firm. When implementing a change, it is critical to allow ownership utilizing the roles, skills, and relationships your team has. When key stakeholders each assure the success of their part of the project organization wide change initiatives are more likely to be implemented successfully.
Be authentic – Identifying the role and expectations of each member of the team and making sure they are aligned to the job is key to the company’s purpose. A few months ago, Ignite Consulting took a personality test related to our work skills and situational tendencies. It was interesting to learn how we each prefer to work in terms of communication with each other, performing tasks, taking risks, and more. This helped us understand how we can be a better team and work to fulfill our organization objectives. By understanding the authentic individuals within your organization, you will be able to design, communicate, and deliver change more effectively. If you would like to learn more about the specialized personality test and how it could be used within your organization click here.
Promote learning – This is a core value at Ignite. A growth mindset helps us perform and excel in our work. We are a diverse team of consultants, with differences in gender, years of experience, and cultural backgrounds. Our meetings are fascinating exchanges, as our client situations are often very similar, yet how we react to them can be quite insightful. This is what makes us unique.
We also try to develop our skills, both technical and soft. We recently implemented a collaboration suite that allows us to work closer together as teams, while being in different time zones and geographies. Constant learning and being up to date with new and better practices leads us to personal growth and follow the mission of the organization.
When the organization purpose aligns with the individual’s purpose, the work culture changes creating a more positive, collaborative and powerful mindset. Take time to discover your organization’s higher purpose, develop a sense of belonging to your organization, be authentic, and promote learning to support your team and offer better services and products to your customers.
Have questions regarding organizational alignment or preparing for a large change initiative? Reach out! We will be happy to get you started with the highest probability of success.