In my blog last week, EU Collaboration: No Matter What, I posed this question, “Where does global society need to collaborate and what new economic innovations do we need to co-create in order for all countries, not just Greece, to become sustainable global citizens?” Clearly, the traditional economic model of “learn-earn-pay back” where one works in an organization accruing enough wealth to then retire into volunteering or philanthropy no longer suits the existing millennial or freelance workforce. Increasingly, people are exiting their places of employment as well as no longer purchasing once-favoured brands because these companies operate solely from a profit motivate rather than serve a significant social need.
This trend of increasing social consciousness evolved our global economy, over the past 100 years, from the Industrial and Information Ages into the Innovation Age. A primary driver of this continued human and economic evolution is an increasingly educated mobile workforce who are no longer content to “do as they are told” but instead seek to participate in creating a desirable shared future.
The process of inventing a desirable shared future is the essence of purposeful creation. Purposeful creation moves us away from mental and physical illness into personal and societal wellness. Careers fulfilling a sense of purpose and social contribution are what people are currently seeking. As my current IT collaborator, Chris, told me yesterday, “I don’t want to write code and build websites that aren’t purposefully invested in social change.”
Purpose, as defined by Aaron Hurst, is a personal need as well as a business imperative. That is to say, it is now essential for businesses to invest in value propositions that are meaningful for their employees and customers while serving societal needs that matter — wellness, homelessness, pollution, wealth distribution, world peace, etc. Of course, the added benefit of adding purposeful value to society is that what has significance to many is more likely to build both the market and ecosystem necessary to make one’s product or service viable.
From a personal perspective, purpose or meaningfulness is more than an aim, a cause or a luxury. It is a practice. As Hurst suggests, people become purposeful when they “grow personally, establish meaningful relationships, and when they are in service to something greater than themselves.” Furthermore, when we choose a career where our passion and sense of purpose can prevail, we never feel as though we are working. And finally, don’t we all want to role model healthy work/life experiences for those whom we directly influence.
Your approach to work will most likely be inherited by your children.
Aaron Hurst, The Purpose Economy
Possibly of even greater importance, living purposefully grows our self-awareness. When we know who we are, we are comfortable and confident in the world as well. David Hieatt, author of Do Purpose: Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more, states that having a sense of purpose gives us a reason to exist because it answers the questions, “Why am I here?” and “What am I meant to contribute?”
Purpose is an incredibly powerful thing. It provides the strength to fight
the impossible. David Hieatt
In today’s Innovation Age of crumbling economies, Greek as well as others, a powerful sense of purpose is exactly what will drive us to change the impossible into the probable. Purposeful corporations and entrepreneurs already draw steadily-increasing loyalty to their products and services because their consumers want to be part of the change they are orchestrating.
What social change are you drawn toward? How can you more purposefully contribute to this change happening?
For more on purpose and how to find yours, click here.