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  • Writer's pictureRoger Grant

Using Purpose to Unlock Innovation (Part 3): From Team Purpose to Growth

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

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Purpose sets teams in a “stay ready” mindset, and hard work leads, with the least resistance, to innovation.

When I was with Nokia in 2002, I joined an internal innovation project to improve IT services experience by leveraging self-service.

I felt like Bill Murray in the movie, Groundhog Day, reliving the same meetings repeatedly.

Not only was the project team in meetings all day, but we were also addressing similar issues dressed up in another meeting. It would take three weeks of discussions to agree on one slide.

Nothing got done.

Lack of Clarity

Change is tough when there’s no clear answer. The lack of clarity led to silent infighting and internal resistance to fight the status quo. The team genuinely cared for each other.

However, in wanting to be nice, we swept problems under the carpet instead of addressing them directly.

Shortest Path to Innovation

As Bill McDermott, SAP CEO, shared in an interview with Imperative, “None of us is as smart as all of us”. A team purpose brings your team’s best ideas on the table and creates a sense of ownership and urgency.

“None of us are as smart as all of us”

When a team lead themselves through change together towards a shared purpose, they will fight the status quo to innovate rapidly, engage customers better and deliver results faster.

This puts them in a “stay ready” mindset, and hard work leads, with the least resistance, to innovation.

In the end, Nokia failed to hit its business outcomes. Our silent infighting, internal resistance to fight the status quo became our competitor’s advantage.

Don’t wait for bolts of inspiration to hit you from above. The inspiration is lying dormant within your team, waiting to be unleashed.

More on this series:

Part 3: From Team Purpose to Growth

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