The TransForm team had just come back from the east coast having participated in a business meeting with a group of leaders in the energy industry. At that time hurricane Sandy was Forming and Storming, and simultaneously so were the leaders in the room. For two days the momentum built as the leaders discussed and confronted the reality that their company was just surviving, and the future demanded a radical transformation of the way they did business.
What would it take to move from surviving to thriving? How could they create a “thriving culture” – one that would provide the stimulus for reinventing their company so that it could respond quickly, nimbly and, most importantly, creatively to the dramatic changes in their industry? While there were pockets of innovation, how could these leaders engage and inspire all employees to move from just “getting through” the tasks of the day to “breaking through” into new possibilities?
The process never varies. It begins with this essential question – what is our common purpose?
As the leaders wrestled with and finally agreed upon their common Purpose – why does our business exist – and articulated their Values – what do we stand for – the energy in the room shifted dramatically. We have seen it happen over and over again, but the power it produces never ceases to amaze us. As the teams began to form and implementation plans established, it became clear that this group of highly educated and experienced professionals were learning once again what is was like to be focused on something they could believe in.
This moment of clarity and point of connection had another enormous benefit to these leaders and their teams. They came to the meeting unaligned and burdened with the work to be accomplished. Again, they were in the world of survival – that day to day existence where aspirations are limited to short-term goals and staying out of trouble. Now as the possibility of changing their culture, their company, and even their industry emerged, the desire and motivation to collaborate and cooperate was pervasive.
As we continue to track this initiative, we are reminded of the power of purpose, that transformational experience when leaders align employees behind the most powerful motivational force there is – a Cause! Employees are always the creative force for great things and when they operate in a culture that inspires passion about their services and their company, it is an experience they will talk about for years to come.
Oh, and by the way, the impact on the customer experience is substantial, which, lest we forget, is the foundation upon which any thriving business is built.