Building Forward

May 30, 2020


Shifting Change from Temporary to Permanent

The pandemic hasn’t ended. Yet, in some ways it feels like we have taken a collective step forward. As we re-emerge in this new phase, I’m curious if you’ve thought about what you’re going to take forward in your business?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been focusing a lot on culture-building. I think it’s because brand purpose is a great connection point for people. Your company’s purpose is designed to unify people inside and outside of your organization. It shifts the focus from what “I” can do to what “we” can do.

Last month, I shared some thoughts on surveying your team as a way to gather important information. I’ve talked to a few different leaders who are using employee surveys to understand their employees’ needs and to collect information to help their organizations adapt. (If you haven’t done this yet and are interested, I put together some information on how to do this here.)

More recently, I shared tips for finding and sharing stories that demonstrate your purpose. The goal is to use our stories to foster a greater connection with our brand and with each other. With so many competing priorities right now, it helps to be reminded that the work we’re doing matters.

If I could add a third step to this culture-building series, it would be to evaluate what has worked during this time and how it can help you build forward. Could you continue to offer work-from-home for people or teams who prefer it? Was your Zoom morning coffee a success in it’s own quirky way? Could you continue to give your employees paid mental health time or services?

Things have changed in our businesses during the past few months that fostered connection, spurred innovation and moved our cultures forward. This experience, while extraordinarily difficult for our businesses, has also presented new opportunities. It’s worth exploring which of these align with where we want to go.

There’s a step in the Alignd on Purpose Framework called adoption. This is the point at which managers across an organization have internalized the organization’s purpose. They start seeing new opportunities to move the business forward in ways that fit with the brand purpose. To continue to grow our businesses with purpose, we have an opportunity to see which temporary changes are worth adopting permanently.




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Karen Bailey is a brand purpose consultant and specializes in helping companies define their purpose and align their business around it. In 2017, she launched the blog, Purpose Greater Than Profit, to start a meaningful conversation about the increasingly important role of brand purpose, purposeful leadership and a better way of doing business.


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