Revealing the Organization’s Natural, Shared Purpose
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The organization’s Purpose is its Why. Why are we doing today’s work?
Purpose: That which brings meaning to life. Non-financial reasons that get you out of bed in the morning energized to do your day’s work.
In our work with clients, FS/A facilitates a one-day retreat focused on the culture of the organization—the Purpose, Vision, and Guiding Principles that form its Core Identity. During the retreat, team members share stories of the organization at its best. These stories begin to show a much deeper Purpose, a Purpose with a profound meaning, something bigger than goals, profits, or prestige. Hearing these stories touches people in a way they had not experienced previously.
The Purpose revealed in the Culture Clarification process reflects a desire to work together in a way that allows team members to have a deeply meaningful impact—they want to feel that their lives and the work they do matter.
- To positively impact the health and self-esteem of others by interpreting individual needs.
- Improve lives through curing, preventing, and treating eye disease.
- Developing and delivering care of the highest quality to improve lives today and tomorrow.
- To inspire and empower people to live happier, healthier lives.
Before assembling for the Culture Clarification retreat, we have introduced the client’s team members to the Four Stages of Fulfillment. We developed this framework to explain the motivation behind what we do each day. The organizational Purpose resides at Stage III Fulfillment (Contributing to the Benefit of Others). A Purpose compatible with Stage III Fulfillment accommodates putting back into the system more than we are taking out. This concept is vital to sustainability, permitting the closed system we live in to survive.
Leadership needs to remind team members of the organization’s Purpose regularly. The daily grind to meet goals and expectations grounded in Stage II Fulfillment (Competing with Others) can dominate our thinking. It is the intrinsic energy that comes from working together in service of a higher calling that enables us to do our best work and achieve the goals and expectations. Let’s make sure Stage II Fulfillment-level goals and expectations don’t mitigate our team’s intrinsic motivation.