‘Making Strategic Decisions Fun: How we Created our Why, How, What in 2 Sessions — a Team Effort’

Most companies know the importance of having a clear and inspiring WHY: the impact you want to make in this world. However, many managers still make the mistake of creating a sense of purpose in their safe little tower. Afterward, hours are spend on a communication plan concerning how to guarantee everyone within the company is driven by its purpose. In most cases resulting in listening to a long speech supported with boring graphics — and an audience more motivated than ever to get back to their office chair.

Okay, a little over-exaggerated. Although, it’s definitely a rare case that organisations create a WHY that involves people in- and outside the company and isn’t purely focused on business results. In the end, if your WHY isn’t authentic, people don’t buy WHAT you do because of WHY you do it. So how can you create a clear purpose that guides employees decisions on a day-to-day basis and guards all future movements of the business?

After some talks with our developers, designers and customers we figured it was time to stand still in the fast-paced changing market of the tech industry and decide who we want to be before the industry will decide it for us. We invited everyone who was interested to bring their creative minds together. Of course, if you’re part of a large corporation you can’t invite 250+ people — but solving that with hackathons and some gamification is always a fun idea. Why not get a little creative while you’re at it?

The first session started off with many post-its and pizza’s involved. Participants could join the Lightning Talks to show their leading example of inspiring company purposes. For example, SpaceX was mentioned who wants to ‘evolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets’. After that, we created a clear picture of our target group, their needs, and what services we can provide them. When describing our ideal customer we decided we choose to work together with businesses that: ‘Are ambitious innovators, craving for change. They own or want to own start-up DNA (flexible, agile and open-minded). They have enough budget and a clear goal. They are searching to make a social or environmental impact together with us. Making money is not their only interest.’

During the second session, participants focused on what impact we want to make in this world together. We watched a video of Aaron Hurst about his theory of the shift from the Information Economy towards the Purpose Economy. Aaron’s breakthrough research explains the science of purpose at work and the powerful implications for the workforce. Inspiring, that’s for sure! Next, we completed an exercise answering the question: ‘What problems do you want to solve in this world?’. Based on the outcomes of this exercise we grouped the input into five dimensions (see below). These insights helped us to create a WHY aligned with the checklist of a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP):

Which resulted in our WHY:

“Helping organisations and people grow to their full potential in the digital future”

Ambitious entrepreneurs and digital innovators are forming the future. The Digital Future. A future where people and organisations are driven by purpose. Where technology allows us to focus on what’s really important in life and work.
As a Tech Agency, we are here to support the ambitious ones in society by creating tech to help fulfill their purpose and maximise their full potential. We believe that the digital future isn’t about technology, it’s about empowering people and creating sustainable impact together. Therefore, we are aiming to develop tech that creates:
1. Less waste — also on operational tasks
2. More purpose for
Close collaboration and inclusiveness
Decentralisation and more autonomy for users
5. More
knowledge to learn and grow’

Co-creating a WHY together is possible in two sessions, but obviously it’ll take some time to refine and combine the raw input of the meetings. We experienced that it’s way more fun to brainstorm together, however, it’s important to take your time and not rush through the process. Secondly, we learned that, although it isn’t rocket science, it’s quite a task to keep everyone involved during the fine-tuning phase. This will be the time that everyone goes back to their daily tasks. So what steps can you take to keep your WHY alive in- and outside the organisation? We decided to organise a KICK- OFF with our employees and stakeholders. The next steps for us will be to update our online channels, focus on our branding, and bringing the story to life in the office. However, most importantly is to keep collecting feedback often. In the end, your people are your biggest influencers. If your people don’t believe in your purpose, there will be no fun in it at all, right?