Why true purpose and vision are so important for successful change
I remember several years ago having a conversation with a consultant about why a business needs to have a vision with purpose. He was telling me it was not needed, it was all down to systems, management information and beating your profit forecast. With the right management, he said it could all be achieved. The word he failed to use was great leadership and in my opinion, the lack of leadership and vision is why so many projects fail, productivity levels are static and employee engagement is often low.
Whilst it may be a little cheesy, the story about the cleaner at NASA and when asked what he was doing his reply was putting a man on the moon. He was part of a bigger cause, a vision that even in his little way, he was helping to achieve. He was proud to be doing his bit.
I don't know about you but I am much more motivated when I know why I am doing something, and that something has purpose and meaning. Simon Sinek sums this up very well in this talk
When I look back at the biggest successes I have seen teams deliver, they always came back to clear and exciting goals. Ones that they can find their own connection with.
When I work with companies on selecting and implementing technologies. I always start with Why.
Why are you doing this?
What is your vision?
If they cannot answer this question. This is where we start.
To answer these questions gives me the basis to engage with those stakeholders in the business, the ones that will be involved in the change, the ones that sign the cheques and the ones who are affected by it. It allows us to positively frame what we are looking to achieve, to create a dialogue and build better solutions together based around that goal.
The right goal engages the heart, mind and soul.
I appreciate this does not seem like rocket science, but in reality, there are very few companies with goals that can touch someone's heart and have meaning. Those that do, can change and can unlock the hidden potential in their employees, suppliers and customers. A great example of a clear goal with purpose is that of Microsoft with its mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
At Jonathan Tole Consulting, my goal is about unlocking the potential of the agri-food industry through people and technology. It's seeing them collaborate, create and work in new more engaged and value add ways, it's about empowerment and creating cultures that are agile and are comfortable adapting in our changing world. For my clients, it's about improvement in efficiency, in culture, in their customer relationships, growth, resilience and ultimately profit.