What's the purpose?

We often question the purpose of what we are doing when we hit a bump in the road, or things don’t seem to be going right. It’s usually rhetorical in nature and indicates increasing frustration and a growing sense of futility.

This critical questioning of purpose often comes too late. Really, it should be the first thing we consider before committing time and resources to any course of action. It is a catalyst to establish intent and worth. It can also lead to a range of complementary questions that clarify purpose and further build on our commitment to action. So, what’s the purpose? What benefits will be derived? How will you demonstrate this purpose? What will you notice when this purpose is achieved?


A clear and compelling purpose establishes the intent to which strategy, resources and actions can be aligned. This alignment not only increases the likelihood of a purpose being achieved, it also increases efficiencies in the pursuit of the purpose that can save time, energy and money.

Goal setting creates a process to move us from intent to practice. The SMART framework can improve the likelihood of goal attainment by ensuring our goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timely. A clear sense of purpose aligned with development goals can motivate us and inspire confidence.


Establishing a clear and compelling sense of purpose is even more critical when we consider organisations and teams. Misalignment of purpose across an organisation, and within teams, can create dysfunction that undermines performance. This can result in substantial inefficiencies and costs, as well as a detrimental impact on culture.

Effective organisations and teams demonstrate alignment of purpose at all levels and across all areas of operation.

Purpose should be embedded as part of an organisation or team’s cultural DNA – it should not be left to circumstance. This is where the quality of leadership becomes critical. Great leaders seem to understand the importance of establishing a clear and compelling purpose that leverages engagement and commitment.

So, what is your organisation or team’s purpose? How effectively is it demonstrated? What do you notice? What do your clients notice? What can be done to more effectively align purpose? What difference would this make?

How does your purpose align with your organisation or team’s purpose? What gives you the confidence this is the case? How could a better alignment of purpose be achieved? What benefits would you notice? What will you do to achieve this alignment?