“Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.” ~ Bill Bradley
How are purpose and leadership related? Great question, here’s what we think.
“Purpose without leadership is like a fish on a bicycle.” ~ Whitney Vosburgh
“Leadership without purpose is just management.” ~ Charlie Grantham
This series of blogs is about the interrelationships of two major factors. First, there is the continuum that grows from identifying what your purpose is to where that is lived out, and ultimately what you do to manifest purpose at work. Succinctly: Purpose, Place and Practice.
The other factor, which can be thought of as what is your relative social position in or to work organizations. There are many definitions of this organizational role. We are simplifying those dimensions to three categories: leadership, management and those independents we call ‘creative catalysts of change’. It’s a new category that we think plays the protagonist in the New Story of Work. In essence, these catalysts are those in our society who continuously practice creativity and invention.
It is not our aim here to engage in a definitive discussion of organizational structures. Our goal is to give you some conceptual tools to reimagine the context in which these roles bring purpose to life and to work. To us, it looks like this: Read More
Purpose aka “Your reason for getting up in the morning.” ~ Bryan Dik PhD
Work is not working anymore
We live in an increasingly purposeless world filled with purposeless work. The Old Story and its attendant social institutions, which have risen over the past 500 years, were designed to promote continuous growth; first through extraction of non-renewable resources, later by industrial efficiency, and now through manipulation of financial systems and cronyism. These institutions are no longer life affirming, nor supportive of personal well-being (integration of spirit, mind and body), let alone human wholeness (integration of individuals into a greater whole).
Work is a central human activity, which provides sustenance, community, meaning, identity, and now we realize, well-being and wholeness. We focus on it because it is universal – irrespective of political affiliation, religion or culture.
Shared purpose is the social-psychological glue, which binds humans together. It is the commonly held belief, which informs our attitudes and ultimately our behavior.
Why is it important now? Because humankind has reached a point in its evolution where it can consciously choose its pattern: creation or destruction? Is it going to be global warming, warring or warning?
This is our manifesto about purposeful work and the purpose of work. It is a declaration of our intentions, motives and views on the topic – our purpose is your purpose at work.
Purpose: Find Your WHY – your guiding North Star. Read More
In our blog series on "Will Your City Be DOA in the 21st Century" explored branding as a strategy for sustainability and, even better, thrivability for local goverments. We keep getting questions about this, so we're going to unpack that idea.
Why is branding, and specifically place branding, so important? And just exactly what is it? And lastly, how do you start the process?
Branding is important because your town is in competition with hundreds, if not thousands of other local governments for highly talented and resourceful residents, businesses and organizations. You want the economic engine of the 21st century – “that creative class of people” as Richard Florida has called them – to come live, stay and grow their families and businesses in your town. Branding is the emotional magnet that will draw them to you, and keep them there.
A brand is a living, breathing relationship that is forever changing between your stakeholders and the focus of that relationship: your civic brand, which is a clearly defined and identified entity with an associated promise of value, purpose and values. Read More
Walking y/our talk
We’re practicing what we preach… what we wrote about in our 4-part DOA series is now being testing in real-time in real world circumstances. No posturing and pontificating professors here.
As luck would have it, one of us (Whitney) had a devastating direct experience of a community arriving DOA in the 21st century. Actually, his community isn’t DOA – but is on serious life support and will be in ER for a long time to come. Whitney and his wife has a country home in Anderson Springs, CA. He will be forever grateful that his is one of the few that escaped destruction.
On September 12th a raging forest inferno, called the Valley Fire, (the fastest moving and third worst fire in CA history) swept through Anderson Springs in Lake County like a blowtorch. 90% of homes were destroyed leaving less than 20 structures standing, 1,000 residents displaced and 2 dead. An absolutely horrible way to be thrust into thinking about rebuilding, revitalizing and becoming a sustainable community. Read More
This is the wrap to our four-part series on the future of local governments in the USA. To recap, we outlined some driving forces of change, aspects of civic well-being, and then brought it together under the umbrella of place branding. As you’ll recall, we suggested three major steps to take in our first article:
1. Putting someone in charge of strategic planning, branding and innovation
2. Develop a plan for consolidation of services as revenues collapse
3. Make continuous sustainability your central policy goal Read More
If you’re following us, this is the third in a series of four on the future viability of local governments. We led off with some dire predictions based on long-term trends we see – it wasn’t a pretty picture. Based on feedback from that, we next jumped into a discussion of civic well-being as a potential mitigating force. Now we turn to branding your city. If you have the civic well-being angle covered, how do you communicate that? That’s where branding comes in.
What is a brand?
A brand is a living, breathing relationship that is forever changing between your stakeholders and the focus of that relationship: your civic brand, which is a clearly defined and identified entity with an associated promise of value, purpose and values. In other words, a brand is what “they,” your stakeholders, say it is – NOT what you say it is. A brand is the sum of all that you do and don’t do as experienced and interpreted by others. In your case, it is the shared experience of the place you are stewards of and the people who congregate there. Read More
We’ve received much positive feedback on our original Op-ed on the major challenges facing local governments in the early 21st century. Folks have asked us to expand on our stratagems on how to keep these oncoming forces of change at bay. You can make these forces work for you – not against you – if you have a strategy. Our intent is to help you craft that strategy.
So, we’ve decided to drill down on a couple of major issues and help point the way towards a sustainable pathway for civic development. First, we want to explore civic engagement and life satisfaction as an overarching public goal, and then link that to the development of your city’s brand. As we shift to a post-industrial capitalist society, there is perhaps no better venue to express having ‘well-being’ as the primary motivating public policy goal. Read More
Do you remember seeing photographs of or visiting old ghosts towns across the US, particularly in the West? In the near future, we’ll be seeing new ghost towns across the country. Will your local government be one of them? It could be… but needn’t be. There are plenty of problems ahead for sure, but there are also possibilities for renewal as well. Read More
Here are questions to ask before starting something new, or whether to continue investing in it:
• What's the purpose?
• Is it on purpose?
• Does it serve your core purpose? Read More