When you engage your employees developing your purpose, it helps the purpose of the organization get "into their bones." So, if you want employees to know and, more importantly, live the Purpose of your company, get them involved while creating it.
Generally, it is better not to limit developing your purpose to a select group. When you do, you miss the excellent opportunity to engage your employees in this critical conversation.
In fact, you will find that the power of getting the Purpose into the organization comes from the repetition of discussing the Purpose as part of the work routine. To do that, here are three critical thoughts that can help you adopt this powerful approach.
Months may seem too long and not appeal to you because you want this done and move on to other issues. But, for something as crucial as Purpose, the consistent discussion of words and their meaning helps plant the seed in their mind.
Can it be done in days? Obviously, it is possible, but on the other hand, it is less likely to become part of the employee's or organization's vocabulary. My experience is repetition is best when working on important issues. And purpose, values, strategy, and goals are fundamental, therefore, need repetition - early and often.
Generally, it will be months and not days to get this into people's minds. In fact, a good rule of thumb is when you are sick and tired of talking about Purpose, that is likely the point when many people begin to listen. If you want this to be quick, write a purpose and put it on the wall. That is all it will be - a document on the wall.
It is up to you when you want a final statement or slogan. Let everyone know what that date is. Hopefully, the date is far enough in the future to give people multiple times to talk about it and make revisions.
Here is a great statement - "Perfect is the enemy of good." And, a better statement, "Perfect is the enemy of productivity!"
The creative process works best when you ACT - LEARN - ADJUST (ALA). Make sure that you apply ALA when you create your Purpose. Create your first draft and give it to the people. Work on new thoughts and ideas for the second draft if you want. But wait to put out the next draft until you get feedback from them.
In the beginning, look for reasonable and workable ideas. You can be more selective as you continue your discussions and refine the words. Then, at some point, declare that the current draft is acceptable as written until someone comes up with a great idea.
The discussion about the Purpose is the key to the process. Make it part of your meeting schedule. Start all meetings with a short Purpose discussion. When done at the beginning, it engages your employees to develop the purpose and set the tone for topics that follow.
And please make sure you have time to attend meetings to hear the group discussions. That helps you understand why they are suggesting changes.
A Simple Process to Use
The times shown below can be changed to fit your particular situation. I think providing enough time to engage your employees in the discussion is critical. Remember, when you are developing your purpose - repeat, repeat, repeat!
- Develop a draft purpose—use the ideas in course 2 - Motivate Right Results with Purpose
- Provide a draft to your organization—propose it as a starter kit
- Make the purpose discussion a part of all meetings, especially recurring team meetings
- Discuss changes or complete revisions at the first few meetings—allow wholesale changes
- Discuss refinements in following meetings as the purpose takes shape
- Declare a working draft when few or no changes are offered
- Operate with the working draft for three to six months
- Revisit the draft in three months and six months; propose and ask for changes
- After six to nine months, declare the Purpose as official
- Revisit at least every 12 months