From the feature article, Creating a Purpose-driven Organization of Harvard Business Review July-August 2018 issue about discovering purpose:
At a global oil company, we once met with members of a task force asked by the CEO to work on defining the organization’s purpose. They handed us a document representing months of work; it articulated a purpose, a mission, and a set of values. We told them it had no power—their analysis and debate had produced only platitudes.
Continuing on how purpose should be discovered:
The members of the task force had used only their heads to invent a higher purpose intended to capture employees’ hearts. But you do not invent a higher purpose; it already exists. You can discover it through empathy—by feeling and understanding the deepest common needs of your workforce. That involves asking provocative questions, listening, and reflecting.
And love this bit on the rising tide of purpose:
Purpose has become a popular topic. Even leaders who don’t believe in it face pressure from board members, investors, employees, and other stakeholders to articulate a higher purpose.
And just one more highlight about the power of purpose:
By connecting people with a sense of higher purpose, leaders can inspire them to bring more energy and creativity to their jobs. When employees feel that their work has meaning, they become more committed and engaged. They take risks, learn, and raise their game.
A wonderful and insightful issue of Harvard Business Review. Be sure to check it out.
And it’s always good to remind ourselves and repeatedly ask ourselves:
What’s our higher purpose?