3 min read

Embedding purpose in your work

September 24, 2021

Tea and biscuits

This blog is a follow up to "How to craft a team purpose statement". If you haven't defined your team purpose, check out our guide on how to do it here.

 

A ritual to embed purpose

Rituals are designed bottom-up by the team. The intention here is to develop a ritual that keeps the team on track with the purpose that it has developed.

"A ritual is defined as an action or word that a person or group does repeatedly following a similar pattern or script in which they've imbued symbolism and meaning."

The idea of creating a ritual is that the team invests a little more effort and meaning into creating this regular moment.

 

What's needed for this exercise?

Book an hour with your team. You will need to be in a creative mood and so find a time where there are no urgent deadlines and the team has capacity to be creative.

If you're a Saberr customer, add this as an exercise to your next team meeting to make the process really easy. The platform will guide you through this exercise step by step.

 

How does it work?

Step 1: Discuss your intention

The intention here is to create a ritual that brings your purpose statement to life. It's a ritual to check in on whether the purpose is more than just a set of words. To be meaningful - the purpose statement needs to be brought to life through regular activities and ways of thinking and behaving.

 

Step 2: Design

When developing a purpose statement we discussed three questions: What do we do? Who do we do it for? Why do we do it? Our statement should keep us on track so that we remember our answers to these three important questions. But how could we regularly check-in to see if we are on track?

The purpose of this exercise is to come together as a team and agree to a ritual - that is meaningful for us - and that helps us check in on the purpose that we created.

 

Find a trigger

What's the trigger? This might be a specific time, people, and place? Once you identify the trigger context, pick a specific situation within your context to anchor the ritual. A trigger is a moment around which you will develop the ritual.

Examples of triggers might be:

  • Discussing with customers every time you lose a deal

  • Discussing with customers after 6 months from signing up

  • Setting aside a little time in a regular internal meeting

Ideate

What ritual would bring to life your purpose statement as a team? Examples of a ritual might be:

  • Asking those you serve to give feedback if you deliver on your purpose

  • Using your own product or service to "step into the shoes" of those you serve

  • Spending time to discuss as a team if we are on track towards our purpose

Use a symbolic prop

Enrich ideas with a magic prop or a reward for example.

  • Inviting customers to a "customer board" that builds a sense of community

  • Spending time with the team at a special pizzeria to discuss purpose

  • Stop activities that don't serve the purpose with a "keep us on track reward"

Beginning, middle & end

A good ritual has a narrative. There's a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Let's take the example of using some team meeting time to discuss how we stay aligned to purpose. That could look something like the following:

Before the meeting: It's important that everyone know what the purpose is. That's it's been discussed and it's written up.

During the meeting: At the end of a regular team meeting we ask ourselves the following question. "To what extent do the activities we've been undertaking this week / month take us clearly in the direction of our purpose". Everyone takes turns asking the question.

After the meeting: We celebrate and reward the observation that kept us most firmly on track.

 

Step 3: Deploy

Remember the above are just some ideas to get you started. The best ideas will be generated from the inspiration from your team.

Once you've developed the ritual you want to test out you can write down your ritual using a Saberr template. Diarise the next intervention and make small improvements as you deploy.

 

Remember

As you roll it out think of the following:

  • It may fail to take on – no massive problem!

  • Try and find a way to introduce that doesn't feel forced or strange

  • Start low key and then build

  • Be ready to adapt

  • Reduce big budgets and time obligations to start

building high performance teams

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