The secret ingredient to build a hyper productive team
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As most people know, purpose is vital when working in a group. It can improve the quality and efficiency of the work of the team as well as the overall satisfaction of team members.
However, there is often something missing from the discussion about purpose. We may not be able to appreciate its virtues enough to consider its essential mechanics: the how- and why.
First, what is the purpose of a strong shared purpose? This question will help us understand the importance of the shared purpose for business.
Second, how can we create a strong shared purpose? Is it possible to create a purpose from the company culture or does it require leadership and collaboration?
How can strong shared purpose have a meaningful impact on productivity? Many managers, including myself, want to increase their team’s productivity. How can the team’s purpose help the team’s efforts to achieve higher productivity?
Why We Need a Strong Shared Purpose
Ernest Shackleton was a polar explorer. He lived from 1874 until 1922. He is most well-known for his Shackleton ad. It was a call to the bravest men to go with him on his expedition towards Antartica.
This guy was as intense and ferocious as they come. He was a strong personality who led by example and guided his team through extreme danger.
What happens to a wooden ship that is stuck on the ice. No big deal.
Shackleton was about to embark on an exploratory voyage to Alaska when he ran an advertisement in a London newspaper. It read:
Men are needed for dangerous journeys. Low wages, bitter cold, and long hours of complete darkness are all factors that men want. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in the event of success. There’s something primal about the ad. Why? Why do we want to live in darkness, extreme cold and die in the arctic tundra?
Let’s move this discussion beyond the late 1800s to the present.
As it has been throughout human history, purpose is important now as ever. People want to live their lives for something greater than themselves.
If the greatest motivation of our time is the promise to spend a few hours basking in the glow on our 75″ Ultra HD TV, then we may be lacking a greater purpose in our lives.
How to create a strong shared purpose
We can all relate to this feeling, the desire for purpose. Living life without purpose is a recipe to discouragement and despair. Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk demonstrates that business without purpose can be fruitless.
His “Golden Circle”, model places the why — that is, the purpose — at the center of life and work.
Everyone who works in any workplace must be able to understand the purpose of their work.
If your organization lacks purpose, it is basically telling your employees, “Look, We don’t really care about what the business is all. We care that you are here to do what is asked of you.
This is a statement that no rational manager would make. This is the organizational effect that lack of purpose has.
It is not enough to have a corporate purpose statement or mission statement. It is not enough to have a corporate purpose or mission statement. You must use that power in your daily work. Here’s how:
Teamwork should be rewarded by purpose.
True purpose rewards the whole team, not just high-achieving individuals.
True, a guy like the Lone Ranger can be cool. He can do things on his own (or with Tonto), that entire organizations would be unable to achieve. Our fascination with heroes such as Superman, Batman, and James Bond reflects our love for rugged individualism. One man or woman can bring down evil governments, save entire civilisations, and make the world a better destination.
This belief in the power and effectiveness of individualism, a deeply ingrained Western philosophy, spills over into business, creating disastrous results for productivity.
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