Creating alignment through purpose

So often organisations and teams spend time and effort defining their purpose and then get back to business as usual. You know the hours spent defining WHY we exist and then word-smithing the output.

I’m definitely not against this process. In fact, it’s something I do with teams every single time we come together to build team effectiveness. What I do worry about is when this hard work, this defining work, gets lost in the busyness of our daily routines. It gets de-prioritised or left to a junior person to pull together.
At its best this leaves people wondering what just happened and making up their own meaning. At its worst people become cynical and focus on their own work and outputs and forget the reason the work exists.
Without exception when I ask teams what they fear about a team effectiveness session they will say “this work goes nowhere… we just go back to BAU”.
So the question is …. How do we bring our WHY, our PURPOSE to meaningful and sustainable life? How do we maximise this purpose work to drive the business and us forward?
If it’s true that one of the most common poorly executed leadership skills is using the purpose to create alignment in a team and business then what do we do to reverse this? How do we create alignment through purpose?
Great leaders build the purpose with their teams then build and scaffold everything around it. I explored the very details of alignment and bringing purpose to life on the latest episode of the Fast Track Podcast with Lisa Gray, CEO Victorian Funds Management Corporation. Lisa has had an illustrious career across private and public sectors. Her examples are rich and candid AND can help you look at the way you are using your purpose to align the work you do.
It might seem simple but the gap between WANTING to do this and ACTUALLY doing it is huge.