I have a fun experiment for you!
Stop reading this for a moment, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your team’s purpose, its raison d’être.
In other words, take a stab at answering the question:
WHY DOES OUR TEAM EXIST?
I’m serious! Stop reading and write it down. Just a sentence or two.
It won’t take long.
Now, I have two more questions for you. Look at what you’ve written down first. Let it sink in.
And now, ask yourself:
“What are the chances (from 0 to 100 percent chance) of the rest of my team members coming up with EXACTLY the same statement?”
If you believe it’s 100, then I salute you! It means that you’ve done an amazing job creating that level of clarity and alignment.
If, however, it’s anything below 100, then you haven’t fully tapped into your team’s potential and you are probably missing one of the fundamental elements that contribute to a high-performance culture.
Both research and empirical data indicate that clear and compelling purpose is the secret ingredient in high performing team culture.
That's why one of the first things I do when helping teams to cultivate a culture than enables them to bring their vision to life is to ask them the very same question:
"Why does your team exist?"
In my experience, most teams either lack clarity as to what their purpose is or… their purpose lacks a deeper meaning.
Meaning is a crucial element to build the foundations for a strong team culture - we all have the need to contribute to something larger than us and to know that the world is a better place thanks to our work.
So the second question I suggest you ask yourself is this:
“Is our purpose inspiring and does it convey a sense of meaning?”
In my next blog, I'm going to share a process I use with teams to help them discover their purpose and thus build the foundations for a healthy team culture.