I can imagine that evolving a new purpose statement, is not something a Lead Link wants to decide all by him- or herself.
If you’re not the Lead Link, then you feel this pressure personally. You can tell the Lead Link: “Go off by yourself and come up with a better purpose than this one. We’re counting on you.” That’s not a responsibility anybody wants. It’s like dental surgery: if you’re not trained, you don’t know how to answer that question. You can’t find it by scratching notes on that back of an envelope; you need help with this. You need a way to create a better purpose. And that’s when you hire somebody.
Having more people trying to sense the purpose increases the odds that you’re going to do a good job of sensing it rather than having one person trying to sense the purpose. As a Lead Link, your next step is to have a project called “Company purpose updated” or something like that. Now you throw basically a purpose party. Invite everybody to participate in whatever methodology you’re using. And some of them come and some of them don’t. Everyone who’s willing is involved in trying to sense a better purpose for the organization. If the methodology is good, the odds of success are extremely high. Good organizational purpose processes have success rates close to 100 percent. The odds of success are higher than for personal purpose processes because you have multiple people trying to sense the purpose. It almost always works if you’re using a good method.
Where to start? Are organizational purposes way easier to find than implementing self-organization?
If you want to start there and then do the self-organizing later, that’s fine. If you help a company find its purpose, after a few years when they’ve been really good at it, if it really took and it really gets adopted, people start to get interested in self-organization.
It’s very interesting. And if you do it the other way around, if you do the self-organization first, then after a few years, they’re going to say, “Wait a minute, this purpose we have isn’t good enough.”
Whichever you start with, you are going to want to do the other one sooner or later.