The power of purpose


 I am interested in purpose as it is something I have been working with a lot over the past year or so.  I have seen how purpose can align individuals and businesses and it links a lot to research by Dan Pink and I did a blog on his work here.

I will say now, there is soooooooooooo much good stuff in this session and one of the best sessions I have been to.  It was properly tingly stuff.

Peter Cheese opened us up with a welcome to the L&D show and sharing his view on the importance of resilience, adaptability, agility and well being.
Tim Munden from Uniliver then took to the stage saying that he and his fellow speaker (Nick Pope) wanted to get a discussion going, we’ll see how that goes.
Unilever is a business with purpose which for them is to ‘make sustainable living common place’ as (in Tim’s view) Unilever cannot do business any other way.  This means they create the sustainanle living plan which includes things like ‘we will help more than a billion people to improve their health and well being’.  
Tim went on to talk about how Unilver use Purpose to drive the business as contextually we are in a world of turmoil (in customer habits) & transparency (people want to see what you are up to) as trust is really important. Tim also went on to say that for Unilver ‘we win because we care’ and that includes things like recycling and waste reduction.  
‘People come to work because they want personal growth’.  I like this as an idea and think it is a more helpful and liberating generalisation than ‘people come to work to earn a living, do a job and go home’.  That is where if (as discussed by Tim) we can engage with purpose then it can lead to so much more than that.  
At Unilever they have the 2020 spirit.  Training every single leader in purpose driven leadership and helping people where they can harness and bring everyone together.  What I really like is that they (Unilever) have pulled a lot of stuff together and done a really good job of aligning it all behind purpose.  What are (some of) those things:
Exploring with people, at length and depth how people can to deliver from their personal purpose and in line with the company purpose.
Being Courageously creative
Keeping Outcome focussed
As well as these individual things, there is the focus of enablers of mental well being and how that needs to be done through; 
Leadership and Management – role modelling through sharing and open honesty
Communicaiton and Culture – about what is expected and Tim shared a number of infographics my favourite was ‘you can do anything…. not everything’
Building resilience and developing employees – because how we respond is vital
I also really liked the phrase around mental health that Tim says is in place at Unilver “nobody is more that one click, call or conversation away from help”
I just really like the simpliciity of that.  To deliver it, according to Tim, Unilever do it for around £40 a head.
It was a really good session showing how at a L&D show, you have someone talking about leading with purpose across a number of things (CSR, Internal Communicaiton, Reward, Engagement) that you may not necessarily always look at.
Next it was Nick Pope, he began my saying most people are carrying a quesiton with them and it is a question they can carry for a long time.  For Nick ‘why can you take some indivudally exceptional individual executives and put them together to make a dysfunctional team.’
Nick talked a lot of sense and had some good points to make:
How do you develop a whole team? Often with high performing individuals (as peers in a team) we work on them as solo not a collective.  There is some real merit (and good research) in getting teams developing together so that they work on the relational aspect as well we the area(s) they are developing.  
High performing team pay attention to six practices – see picture below
‘I want the team to step up’ – it is often a well used phrase that needs to be balanced with ‘are you ready to step out or back?’
Teams need friction and noise – the idea that it isn’t all about unified harmony and being the same or agreeing.  It is more than that and needs the friciton to end up with ‘co-create’.
Overall a really good start to the day.  Looking forward to what is next….

2 responses to “The power of purpose

  1. Pingback: #cipldldshow day one | e3ctc·

  2. Pingback: What occured at #cipdldshow – Day 1 | e3ctc·

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