LIBRO

TWELVE THOUGHTS ON THE PURPOSE IN TIMES OF CRISIS

1 June 2020



We compile in an article the thoughts that we have published on LinkedIn during April about the management of the purpose in times of crisis. Feedback received encourages us to stay focused on purpose as a long-term strategy and to use purpose to motivate and to focus our organization. Hopefully, you like it and it makes you meditation.

SHOULD THE PURPOSE BE SET ASIDE?

#covid-19 ‘s situation could lead some entrepreneurs to convict: “Sometimes the purpose must be set aside and make certain decisions no matter how unpleasant they might be”. These actions seriously impact the coherence that until this point of time we have transmitted to our organization. Do you think that at this moment the purpose should be neglected? How does it affect the decisions we make?

HOW SHOULD THE LEADER BE IN THE FUTURE?

#covid-19 leads to a period of uncertainty, complexity and tension. Decisions that leaders will have to assume are not and will not be easy. What competencies will we look for in the leaders for our organizations? Energetic, Tactical, Visionary, Motivator, Strategic, Emphatic, what do you think?

TO CHANGE OR TO STRENGHTEN THE BUSINESS’ PURPOSE?

The ongoing crisis about #covid-19 is pushing enterprises to make decisions that will impact its current and future business model. Given this situation: Should companies review and change their purpose or, on the contrary, maintain and strengthen it? In DMPC we work with a bunch of businesses from distinct sectors in order to develop their purpose. What do you think about it?

CAN I SHARE EVERYTHING WITH MY EMPLOYEES?

Maybe not all decisions you will make due #covid-19 are understood nor supported by your organization. Maybe you are considering not to share all your thoughts and to rationalize them. Such thing jeopardizes your transparency and authenticity, but you decide to do so because the situation demands it. Notwithstanding the risks this might imply, will you decide not to share everything with your employees? What do you think about it?

SHOULD THE STRATEGY BE AT THE SERVICE OF THE RESULTS?

The crisis of #covid-19 will leave my business in a challenging situation in the coming months. I am focusing all my strategy into achieving short-term economic results to overcome this situation. Even though initially this might make them feel somehow affected, my stakeholders will understand. Is focusing insightfully all our strategy into the results appropriate? What do you think about it?

TO MOTIVATE WITH A UNIQUE PURPOSE: TO GET OUT OF THE CRISIS?

After #corvid-19 ‘s crisis, when my employees return, I will have to win their motivation towards accomplishing a greater endeavor and involvement. Some managers may think the message “our prime and only purpose is to get out of the crisis” is the most powerful and up-to-date to achieve such motivation. Should this be the new organization’s purpose? What do you think?

UPDATE THE PURPOSE

Some leaders may feel distant from words and the meaning that comes from the Purpose of their company. “We said this in other circumstances, before the crisis”. Is the purpose a concept only for good periods or do we have to stay faithful to it through thick and thin? Maybe you’re thinking about “update it” and customize it to times of crisis. The spirit of service to our stakeholders with which we define our purpose is it still standing or are we replacing it with a survival spirit?

GET BACK TO ‘NORMALITY’

After some weeks in confinement, the fact that labour relations not being ever again the same starts sinking in. The legislation has changed and will change, the expectations of workers too; as with their motivation at work. In our minds, we start making a list of the things the crisis has brought to us and want to maintain, and the things we have to fight for, to restore. What do you have on your list?

THE PURPOSE, OUR RAISON D’ÊTRE, ALSO NOW?

The current crisis has caused an unprecedented economic and social slowdown. Maybe we have discovered an excessive dependence of our business model to a few markets. Is this the time to determine precisely which is our core business and in which markets can we swiftly contribute? Can this affect and modify our corporate purpose?

DOES TELEWORKING AFFECT THE MISSION OF THE EMPLOYEES?

We all have seen ourselves compelled to a new way of working and interacting with each other. Telework enters our home and generates another kind of relationships, either making them closer or distant, all of them are different. In the beginning we thought the change would last a couple of weeks, now we realize it can take months. Is teleworking increasing the company’s sense of belonging or, on the contrary, is prejudicing it, making us feel distant from the purpose? Which are the essential values for the telework to be efficient and sustainable?

THE CONFINEMENT’S PSYCHOLOGICAL AND RELACIONAL EFFECTS

#stayathome has been a motto that has helped us to be in solidarity with those who can’t stay. They had a clear mission and ours was to stay at home. Shortly another will show up like #Igobacktowork , to emphasize the reencounter with teammates, with our places and routines adapted to the work. Will our ways of leading and be lead change? What will be the first thing we ask? And the first thing we request?

THE WORLD IS STILL AND NOW WE NEED TO SET IT IN MOTION

The unforeseeable has happened: the world has stopped. Now we need to set it back in motion and this itself is a worldwide purpose. If we are doing it, why don’t we raise a common, authentic and coherent purpose with what we have witnessed? Why don’t we set it in motion thinking about reducing inequality, appreciating jobs because of their contribution to the society, minimizing our impact to the environment? Should governments collect the purpose of this mindset? Should companies collect the purpose of this mindset?