Leadership, connecting people’s purpose to the vision, guest Olga Piehler
For Olga in mid-career came this realisation of an acute need to find and identify self-purpose. It ultimately led to her new company name having ‘my why’. In the discovery process the research involved everything to do with customer experience and loyalty as these were areas connected to my work roles. The learning from it is summed up in one word-- consistency. Consistency in the delivery of the experience by employees.
In looking at solving how to deliver the customer experience consistently it went back to culture. At the end of the day culture is the everyday behaviours in play. That's how culture is felt. How are we showing up to customers every day? Answering that question leads straight to the experience being felt by the customers. To get an effective culture one has to look at the alignment of culture with leadership. Looking at the guiding principles for the front-line leaders. Which then goes back to purpose and values.
It's all about how leaders are aligned to the purpose which flows from the vision a company has. Individual purpose and the organizational purpose aren’t always the same. Yet there has to be an alignment between the two in order for synchronicity to be present. Else it creates a dysfunction that grows little by little ultimately to a point where it ends up creating an inconsistent experience internally and externally.
So, it becomes critical to call out the behaviours that are not in alignment.
It necessitates having difficult conversations and snipping away the unwanted behaviours. Simply through reminding who and what the company is about and what it stands for.
There are industries which have high empathy such as healthcare for example. In these types of industries its common to find employees highly committed. However even in these industries a continuous check-in is required as sometimes the same commitment can take an employee off the track with the overall organizational purpose.
What helps in such scenarios to regain alignment is the content and the context that might not have been explicit. For example, the work of stacking shelves in a supermarket was there three weeks ago. Yet everyone today values that work output in context of the global pandemic where the employee knows he or she is providing a key service to a customer who would get what they and their families need when they come to the supermarket. Given the global context presently this service has, sort of, become like part of an essential service.
Sometimes purpose is explicit and at other times not so. That is the challenge for leaders to find that and make it explicit and align their team members roles to that purpose.
A good leader is able to make sure that everybody feels that they have a unique contribution to the bigger picture is.