By Fiona Logan
For too many organisations, purpose is something written on a wall, referenced during interviews, or talked about in meetings. However purpose is often quickly forgotten when faced with competing priorities and the day-to-day hustle of business.
Yet it shouldn’t be. Purpose is why we do what we do; the thing we live and breathe for, the reason we get up every morning. It is also an enabler of strategy and business success, which is crucial during a time of global uncertainty. The research backs this up – purpose-driven organisations out-perform the stock market by 120% and increase employees’ productivity by 225%.
At Insights, our purpose is, To create a world where people truly understand themselves and others and are inspired to make a positive difference in everything they do. It’s our ‘north star’, helping us clarify goals and make decisions by reminding us why we’re on the journey we’re on.
Over the past year, we have been looking deeply into purpose. This exploration has taught us that, for purpose to truly be at the core of an organisation, the whole community must understand it, and feel a connection to it. Then, it will be imprinted in the hearts and minds of every single employee.
Understanding your collective dynamic
Understanding your collective people dynamic can help to integrate your purpose through an awareness of how your community show up and understanding their preferences and what drives them.
Getting to grips with your collective people dynamic means recognising the distinctive styles and preferences of your employees, how best to engage and connect, their strengths and weaknesses and how these fit together as a whole to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. On a wider level, learning about the whole company dynamic, or teams within it, can give a fantastic picture of how we show up as a collective and what motivates and connects us.
It means knowing how to leverage this dynamic to best effect, when to adjust, and when to rest. Like sticks in a bundle, the strength of the collective increases exponentially when united around a single purpose.
Awareness is key to understanding your collective dynamic
Developing an understanding of this collective people dynamic starts with investing in awareness of yourself, of others and of your teams.
Self-awareness helps you understand what you’re great at and any potential blind-spots; where and how you can add most value; how to challenge appropriately; and how to turn your ideas into new realities. It also helps you ‘show up’ in a more authentic way and make better connections – creating more effective teams and achieving better business outcomes.
Self-awareness leads to others-awareness which, in turn, helps you to understand your collective people dynamic.
The language of colour
At Insights we help organisations develop self-awareness through the use of colour – a non-judgmental language for teams to talk about interpersonal preferences. Our colour energy model, Insights Discovery, is underpinned by Jungian psychology principles and is a way to cut through the complexity of why we behave the way we do. Colour helps to view individual or collective preferences, styles, strengths and the value we bring to the team. It is simple, yet it can bring a great depth of awareness.
Earlier this month, leaders from across our global organisation gathered in Paris to unite as a community, review and realign around our business strategy with purpose at the core. We are using our own tools to paint a picture of how we show up as teams, leaders and as an organisation to help us develop our strategy and our culture. Having a solid understanding of our dynamics and the motivations of all our people is vital and only then can we ensure we continue to unite our community around a common purpose and drive growth.
This is a pivotal moment as leaders. To soar during a time of global turbulence organisations must first dig deep, using purpose and people to guide them.
So how can you better understand your organisation’s collective people dynamic and use this in pursuit of your purpose?
About the Author
Fiona Logan is Chief Executive of Insights. Fiona came to Insights in 2015 as VP Europe, and soon took on the role of Chief Operating Officer. She joined from her post as CEO of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park following an international corporate career with IBM and Unilever. Fiona has attended Henley, Harvard and Macquarie Business Schools and is a previous winner of the UK Public Servant of the Year from the Women in Public Life awards.