CAN THE INDUSTRY SET GOALS FOR ITSELF? AND ARE THESE ONLY PROFIT RELATED? IS THERE NOT, BEYOND THE SURFACE OF THE USUAL PACE, SOMETHING MORE FASCINATING; A DESTINATION, A CALLING TAKING PLACE IN THE LIFE OF A FACTORY? – A. Olivetti
We have felt the need for it for a very long time and then the pandemic came as a true challenge touching every field. We decided it was the right time to act and so we did.
But why devote any time to finding Purpose, when rushing to seize the few opportunities offered by a declining market seems the best thing to do?
Simon Sinek, writer and motivational speaker, believes that some companies are more innovative than others because of their ability to act upon a profound concept: the “WHY”, at the root of their actions.
Finding the WHY gives us the chance to invest our energy on a path to discover ideals and values that define us, bringing us fulfillment and motivation.
In short: we would like to focus on a shared concept, a common intent that will help us take the right path and decisions.
Having a Purpose is like having a compass that directs the decision-making process and helps work be aligned with our skills.
It makes sure we stay authentic. It’s the leitmotiv of every single step.
This insight is the story of how our path started: with an Evolution Project.
WHERE TO START?
From the very beginning, we understood that we needed to engage the company as a whole, in order to find a Purpose that distinguished Interlogica. The Purpose, strongly intertwined with the past, is deeply rooted in every person part of the organization.
In Interlogicas, as a routine exercise when a project is about to start, it’s customary for the team assigned to brainstorm together, trying to connect their ideas, thoughts, and suggestions.
This practice is of key importance to help scratch the surface and collect points of view that are often very different from one another and that can together spark something very special.
As a tech company of Agile practitioners, we are used to dealing with issues one step at a time. We organize our workflow in sprints, aided by tools that allow us to operate even in extreme situations, like working 100% remote, as we were due to pandemic.
The journey started with a suitcase full of expectations and a strong aim in researching our company’s identity–what we really stand for?–looking into our past to find our inner DNA.
How does one set up a process that truly represents the company for its entirety?
And how does one include the reflection, the exploration, the debate, and the action within the organization?
ROAD TO PURPOSE
To tackle this task, which at first was a rather complicated puzzle to solve, our inspiration was the “Golden Circle” theory, developed by Sinek, based on a relatively simple concept: People don’t buy WHAT you do but WHY you do it.
That “WHY” is more than just a word, it’s a powerful concept. Finding it is the key to making a real difference.
Once the Purpose is acknowledged, the very fact of sharing it paves the road for a thriving organization and happy individuals. It also shifts the perception of the client you come in contact with.
The Golden Circle of communication is made up by three concentric circles:
WHY – The core represents the company goal, the very reason for its existence, what it stands for, its self-given mission.
HOW – Once the “WHY” is known, the center of the circle is how a company does things and what makes it different from its competitors.
WHAT – The outer circle is simply: offered products and services
This Golden Circle diagram “Why-How-What” enables a stronger impact on our audience, because it mirrors the way our brain works.
Our rational and analytical thoughts, as well as the speech-language area of the brain, reside in the neocortex, the brain’s most external part. This part can be associated with WHAT.
The other two areas, HOW and WHY are associated with the limbic system, where emotions and instincts lie.
These areas are the ones we use the most for our buying decisions.
According to this mechanism, if we communicate focusing on the “What” first, we give our audience the chance to freely interpret the message, risking that they stray from the original intention.
However focusing on the WHY means aiming straight at the emotional part of the brain, the one responsible for behavior and decisions.
Our Road to Purpose started with multiple workshops. These workshops were intended to share and gather the most significant and important episodes lived together. In the effort of promoting a constructive mindset, we acknowledged areas of interest and meaningful experiences shared by Interlogicians.
Step 1: setting up a long and interactive 1 to 1 interview with CEO Alessandro Fossato and COO Fabio Panizzutti, two of the most influential members of our organization.
Within recurring meanings and areas of interest, we identified IMPACT and CONTRIBUTION, where contribution is what is brought to the community and impact is what the contribution allows us to be to the community.
Two powerful encounters that gradually revealed their individual essence, with personal Purpose “appearing” right in front of them.
Given the success of the 1 to 1 method, the new challenge was to figure out how to engage the company in its whole. So we decided to extend the same process to whoever wished to give their contribution.
This is the genesis of the “Call 4 Purpose”, dressed as a workshop that involved many of us from the most experienced to the newbies.
It was a trip deep down Interlogica’s memory lane, in the events, in the values, in the culture.. in our experiences and memories.
Our journey as a group began with a Zoom Big Conference Meeting, with an online shared whiteboard and virtual post-its in our pockets.
At first, we felt that we were in need for something major to reveal itself. We were having fun but in full commitment and with full focus.
“Finding your “WHY” is a process of discovery not of invention”. Again, emotions and experiences appeared forming words and values. The voices of many became one.
We finally found the nutshell that makes us so proud, our PURPOSE:
A CONTINUOUS JOURNEY
We now have a Northern Star, a keeper of our authenticity.
It’s shared, it defines us and guides us in our actions, creating value for us people. Connecting the Purpose to Interlogica’s beating heart meant re-assessing our inner center: the strategy, the drivers of our evolution, and the organization in itself.
It’s a marvelous work. One that is intriguing and compelling and that requires a deep commitment from all of us.
Now the time for debate started and it started with all but easy questions to answer:
Which of our strategies go hand in hand with our WHY?
How can our Purpose founded services and profitability match?
These questions and many more can help us understand if we are taking action with the boldness and authenticity that is needed.
The Road to Purpose is, however, just a stop in our journey towards Evolution. A journey meant to understand each other and ourselves with more care. One that will take us down a path full of challenges and satisfaction.