One thing I noticed last year when I was working in at SA Health, helping their COVID State Control Centre wind up, was in spite of how crazy busy, demanding and overwhelming the circumstances were, people had thrived and enjoyed working there!
There were two reasons that stood out to me:
- They were clear on, and bonded by, a shared purpose.
- With all the individuals I worked with, they all had as one of their top values either helping the community, or making a difference to the community, which were in line with the organisation’s/division’s purpose.
It was a great example of when people focus on a bigger vision, they let go of smaller issues and focus on achieving outcomes.
I can remember working for an organisation a while back and noticing that we’d adapted, and adapted to market conditions (as many organisations had during several challenging years), but we’d lost sight of our purpose. Everyone was working hard but I wondered how long it could go on before either people started to leave, or burnout. Without a bigger purpose igniting their passion other than surviving and making money, people can only run hard for so long. There comes a time where you need to regroup, step back and refocus on ‘Why are we doing this? How are we here to serve? What is it we want to be a part of?”
I can remember talking to the owner of a highly successful retail furniture company one day as I was having a coffee waiting for a client, and he was waiting for a meeting. He was successful, but not inspired purely by success anymore. He said it was a highly competitive industry where clients weren’t loyal and staff were always poached. It was hard work! He wondered how much longer he wanted to be involved and it was clear there wasn’t any ‘Why’ or ‘Purpose’ in sight. So how do you reignite passion? Well you create a cause that’s bigger than you. So I suggested “What if you could find a way of linking what your business does to something you are very passionate about? For example, if you were passionate about helping the vulnerable in the community, you might donate some of your furniture to places that set up housing for the homeless. Imagine how your staff and clients would feel playing a role in contributing to such a cause. Do you think your staff would leave? How engaged would they be? Don’t you think your clients’ would rather shop with you?”
It’s exciting to stop and think what difference your organisation is making on this planet and how you contribute. If you’re interested in starting a conversation and see where it might lead, then reach out here, or take a look at how we can work together here.