Regardless of what the push is and how measurable the magnitude will be, there’s always a crisis looming in the background for any business – always waiting for the perfect time to strike. And in reality, some crisis hit when a company is at its weakest or most vulnerable. The last crisis to hit the economic market was particularly interesting as it was a collective pain for most of the microcosms that make up the global supply chain.
Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic has many businesses on its knees in a matter of weeks, but it also left everyone going through an existential introspection. With people questioning what is really important in their lives, the urge to do good work and bring an insightful impact in the workplace is stronger than ever.
It is the worst of times, but also the best time to re-evaluate – and ultimately, reactivate – our corporate purpose; what’s the reason for our being, and how can we drive a meaningful change to our own ecosystem, and then, to the world.
A quick – but absolutely necessary – pause.
There’s still a lot of unknowns to unload from this crisis – things that would require hours of strategic planning, operational adjustments, and painful decision-making. There have been many profound changes in the global market within an astonishingly short amount of time. To fully assess the gravity of what the future holds, we need to take a quick pause and reflect on the situation at hand. We can use this time to address some of the uncertainties in the air and bring light to questions that will define the future – if our business survives this storm, will it thrive again? And what kind of changes must be imposed to ensure business continuity, despite the presence of perhaps, another economic downturn.
Taking a pause also allows us to revisit our work’s value – what are we working for, and how do we plan to work for that. If these no longer apply to how the future is shaping to be, this downtime is a rare chance to redefine our corporate purpose – not completely change, but rather, make it on-brand with the renewed relevance of this new normal we have at hand.
A purpose-driven business.
Cliché as it may sound, purpose builds connection. Using the company’s purpose as a guidepost in weathering a major crisis can help create links amongst the many cogs in your ecosystem, strong enough to power your business to power through. This crisis is unlike any other in recent times, and with many of us living within the ambiguity of our days, operating a business with a strong sense of purpose creates an environment where everything will fluidly move – leaders are more relentless than the day before, employees are highly motivated, and customers are naturally gravitating to your brand purpose.
There is pride in a purpose-driven business. All companies would argue that their mission and vision are authentic, more than just lip service, and will always gear to driving an impactful change to the world – and who’s to say whether a company’s purpose is real or not. But when you have an entire community committed to that purpose, success inevitably follows.
Bringing purpose into the future.
Crisis brings changes – some often leave permanent damages to an organizational structure. As such, it’s important to identify the position of your company’s purpose and how it fits into the future. Does your company’s core align with the future? And more importantly, is your business going to be consistent and relevant post-crisis?
Adapting is the key to survival. Company purpose keeps us rooted in our identity and our reason for being, but today’s purpose must remain applicable in tomorrow’s changing landscape. Loyalty to the company’s purpose is of the utmost importance, but adapting to changing conditions and responding to more urgent needs are equally important in the face of disruption. Reframing a company’s purpose will not make your business any less authentic or short of becoming great – changing, in the presence of renewed knowledge, rather than returning to a static playbook that exhibits agility and competence.
Walk the purpose talk.
After reflection comes meaningful action, a corporate purpose must go beyond being a mission statement and a source of inspiration for the community. Make purpose real. It’s imperative for companies to inform, inspire action, reinforce that purpose at every level of the organization, and repeat the entire cycle until it is no longer just a mission statement but the absolute truth for everyone.
From here on – all decisions and movements should lead back to your company’s purpose.
The COVID-19 outbreak is nowhere near over, but many businesses – large and small – are still reeling from the entrepreneurial challenges and unexpected large losses it brought. But when the urgent focus is on survival and staying afloat at all costs, we slowly lose our grasp on our corporate – and even individual – purpose. In the face of adversity and with many of us in physical and emotional isolation, we all need to shift the focus back on our purpose – and hope that this becomes a source of inspiration and courage for our leaders, employees, partners, and customers.
About TeamSpan Global Solutions
TeamSpan Global Solutions is insanely passionate about creating value for our customers. We support some of the most remarkable industry leaders and startups with the rigorous process of team building – we can help you scale up, expand operations, and augment contingency staffing plans – for a fraction of the cost.