You are reading the first article of the Purposeful Organization Concept series. In this series, I describe each section of a quadrant model. This model is based on two criteria. The first one is the level of desire for personal development. The second one is about the level of joined effort around a common goal. In a perfect world, high level personal development and a unifying purpose will enable people to improve the world by improving themselves while participating to a project. This series is a conceptual work in progress.
In the last two series, we explored company and personal development. The enterprise creation series looked at ways to create an organization respecting and enabling its employees. The self-development series explored ways to raise self-awareness and the ability to change oneself to contribute to a better world. In the third series, we explore how those two aspects can collide to create four kind of companies. The upcoming framework is vital to understand ones positioning and develop a plan to face up your particular challenges.
So far in the blog we explored the principle of having a clear vision. During the last few months, I got to experience and to reflect on the usefulness of a vision. In many regards a vision is nice to have but it is not practical at all. “Having a world in peace” is a nice vision but does it tell you what to do?
A common purpose instead of a vision
The secret to change is a constant motivation that fuels you desire to act. Most of the time, we daydream about a better tomorrow but unless we are motivated to move nothing will ever happen. The problem with a vision is that it keeps you in a daydream because it picture an ideal situation that may never be achieved. This is the reason why I always spoke of a mission when formulating a vision. The mission is the missing actionable part.
Why should we make our life more complicated with a vision and a mission when we could have something more straightforward: A purpose.
The importance of motivation
You can move (motivation in action) when something within you is switched on. You need an incentive and a fuel to come into e-motion. A vision may offer you an incentive, a desirable future or a sparkle of fire. Unfortunately, this incentive cannot keep burning without fuel. In other words, you need something actionable to initiate any action. This actionable aspect can be found in a common purpose.
As a team leader or employee you may have already found yourself in a situation where you had a great vision for the team’s future but lacked the fuel, the motivation, the actionable aspect of how to achieve the vision. Maybe it was the opposite you had a great capacity to act but no clear vision of where to go. In both case, you lacked at least one aspect of a common purpose. A common purpose encourages employees to join effort. Visually speaking they are walking toward Rome. People coming together without a common purpose will focus their effort into satisfying their individual purpose.
With this in mind we can classify organizations between those who have developed a widespread common purpose and the ones that have no common purpose at all. Neither of those extreme is good or bad. As always, it only depends on the context in which the organization evolves and the goal you want to achieve.
Personal development as an axis to organizational success
The second dimension to consider to create a successful organization is to have self-developed individuals. It may seem counter-intuitive to affirm that self-developed individuals support organizational development. This impression originates from a misunderstanding of personal development. Most of the people imagine that personal development is being chronically egocentric. In fact, well self-developed individuals know themselves well and can interact with others in peace. They manage their mind and can feel their body. They are connected to their souls, bodies and minds while understanding their interaction with the world.
A desire to grow
Personal development starts with individuals who desire to get better at what they do in order to contribute to a better world. It is related to the mastery of the self. One person can be “self-developed” or lack the skills of personal development. The difference between those two extremes is the way people interact with the world. A person with low personal development accuses the world for his life quality while a self-developed person knows that his perception of the world is impacting his experience.
Everyone can learn to master our his own self if he is aware of this possibility. Fact is self development requires a strong desire to evolve and consistency. One must be ready to get out of his comfort zone. Who would not want to manage his emotion and action better?
The key to human centered success
Personal development and organization purpose
In the upcoming series, you will discover how personal development and organization purpose can be brought together in a framework to raise your awareness, give you a new perspective and inspiration to change the way you work.
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