Overview

Creating a higher purpose is vital to a company and the well-being of its people and just generally as an overarching entity, it needs some sort of direction beyond just the laborious management levers that are the measure of how efficient a business is.

We all have gone through stages in our careers where chasing the paycheck simply wasn’t sufficient motivation to push forward. Sometimes even the biggest salary out there won’t do the trick.

So let’s find out how that works!

TOPIC

Creating a Higher Purpose

EPISODE

015

WHAT WE DISCUSS

Having a mission that goes beyond the ordinary can literally keep you up at night and make you forget to eat (not recommended).

Creating a Higher Purpose

So, creating a higher purpose is vital, I believe, to a company and its well-being of its people and just generally as an overarching entity, it needs some sort of direction beyond just the laborious management levers that are the measure of how efficient a business is.

So, for example, our mission or higher purpose, is using digital for good whilst empowering and fairly rewarding the creators that do the work at its core.

This means we get to work on sustainable projects and good projects and don’t have to bend and advocate working on negative projects like selling cigarettes, promoting certain political parties or even promoting things like gambling.

And, secondly, and most importantly as well, because we have a focus on the creatives, which are the core entity of our business, we’re offering them more flexibility, freedom and also mainly to share in the wealth that their work creates which for me is essential to make sure that they are all aligned on the journey ahead.

So we believe in turn of that this produces like a better output not just for us, but for the people we work with on our client partnerships, and also we’ve been testing this thesis for about a year, year and a half now and it seems to work, we’ve had great results and it’s definitely a leap forward than just selling generic time models that we’ve seen already in the agency world because people are actually invested in the mission ahead. They’re not just being sold as a day rate to a customer.

So, having personally come from a very top-heavy managerial culture which has a lack of higher purpose generally and only focusing on the necessities of process, systems, times, budgets, like all the core fundamentals of the business and that was it.

And I don’t denigrate that’s completely wrong, I think you need those in a business to operate it. But also on the flip side of that if you don’t have a true leadership or a higher purpose set inside that business, you know, real leadership focuses on creating and evangelising a compelling vision that rallies the troops behind that vision and that sort of leads those teams across all levels to achieve all the fundamental managerial things that are needed, again, like process, timings, budgets that they seem trivial then but are executed because there’s a vision ahead of people to move towards.

And this is predominantly required in just day-to-day operations but especially during the times of change like we’re in right now with the pandemic.

So successful operation and transformation efforts demand a higher purpose with leadership both from the top-down and the bottom-up never just the top down.

But again if you have a top-down approach alone, it’s fundamentally not going to work long term because you need that feedback loop from the bottom-up to make sure the leadership can make informed decisions.

So therefore if a leader or manager is making their decisions based on what they think and only what they think and not actually using that feedback loop, naturally, there’s going to be a problem there in the long-term for the business.

So I believe great leaders must clearly communicate their vision, to empower their team’s wherever they are in the world. We do that frequently with our teams because we have creatives all over the world at WeAgile and we’re constantly trying to get feedback loop from them how we can improve, we’re also trying to return that back to the creative to say this is what we’re trying to do for you, and it produces a cyclical flow of rewards and learnings constantly, which I think is the purpose of working in principle.

And even at times rewarding behaviours that align with new changes that are happening in our business or in a client’s business can be useful, but I think it’s vital that to create true alignment of incentives to people, it requires to pair the vision of what’s the higher purpose of that business along with the tangible rewards to finally to blend higher purpose and avoid things like complacency run a company.

We know that changes in the business will always consist of the generics of process change, business model changes, you know, cultural organisational change as standard, but ultimately this whole thing’s about people and people need a mission, need a higher purpose and that’s their fuel to drive them every day when times are hard, difficult, arduous and the mission shouldn’t just be: “We’re going to sell our business one day and everyone will be rich” because, in reality, that isn’t always what people want to hear and it’s definitely not systemic to any person in that business, it’s very much locked to people at the top of the business.

So there needs to be something that drives people across the entire business, top to bottom, is very systemic, and it lets everybody carry forward their mission together.

Otherwise, it’s like a metaphor of just running a business like a machine to produce things constantly and make a margin and nothing else matters. It’s almost like saying, I guess, the metaphor of life is: the purpose of it is just to breathe and stay alive, which, I think, everyone would agree is not a way to live your life.

So, therefore, why not look at a higher purpose, embrace it and use it as your fuel to drive your business and your life forward in a meaningful, purposeful way.

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