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Strategic Priorities: Why you need a purpose that is “Fit for Purpose”

Worried about crafting the purpose for your business unit or team and how long it will take? Well, why not start with a ‘fit for purpose’ purpose that will rally people for the next few laps.

When the data comes back showing a lack of alignment or clarity of purpose, leaders often start to panic.  They dread the task of defining purpose and wonder why the mission statement crafted some time back has fallen short.

Defining purpose and all that goes with it can be difficult. Passion, purpose, meaning, etc. these are no easy matter.  We all know that we need them, but telling somebody that they don’t have them often doesn’t help. It may even make them feel worse rather than better. There is a powerful quick fix however. 

Has your unit or team got a compelling purpose?

While you search for your true north – the ultimate source of meaning and inspiration – start first with a purpose that will work for you in the short to medium term.  It is what we call a ‘fit for purpose’ (FFP) purpose – one that can serve you and your team for the next few laps of the race.  

It may not change your life or transform your industry, but it can rally people together to do what needs to be done.  That is to deliver on the results that are required, while also progressing your business units/team’s key strategic priorities.

Why not focus on the next few laps and define that is your purpose?

Sometimes the FFP Purpose will align exactly with your own deeper purpose, other times it won’t. Sometimes it will unlock your full potential – get you jumping out of bed and other times it won’t.  

In today’s work environment we are working on multiple projects, priorities and teams at any one time. There are projects starting and finishing all the time, being replaced or superseded by others.  A FFP Purpose gives people the clarity and focus that they need now – that is required to deliver on what matters most at this time. 

In a fast-changing environment how long will your purpose actually last?

A FFP Purpose is ideal in a fast-changing complex environment::

  • It doesn’t take months to formulate. 
  • It balances what needs to be done with the quest for meaning.
  • It integrates purpose with results and priorities.
  • It is practical, grounded and actionable.
  • It is tied to a specific project, priority or team (spread over too many people and too many initiatives it can be come generic and bland). 
  • It is dynamic, it can and will change

Being fit for purpose (FFP) recognizes that ‘Purpose’ can change, it will change, it must change. It may have a short shelf life but that makes it none the less meaningful.  In these fast-changing times, priorities will change, so too will customer needs and competitor strategies.  The process of keeping Purpose alive – keeping it current and real should be an ongoing one.

How will you keep your purpose alive and fresh?

Please note if you are working in a fast paced environment with lots of uncertainty Pitstop Analytics can help you measure purpose and alignment within business units and critical teams.  Through pitstop-style workshops, our data sets and modelling enable teams to infuse traditional approaches to strategy and execution with a new speed and agility.

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