Purpose. It is a simple, bold and powerful word. It directs us, anchors us and provides a North Star when the world turns unfamiliar. For our clients, it says everything their customers and employees need to know what they stand for.
Purpose is driven by human characteristics such as empathy, values, logic, and emotions. It is long-term and far-reaching. We live, however, in a very disruptive and turbulent world, don’t we? Our centres of gravity are being hit by the reach, speed and diversity, and velocity of technological change.
As I note in my forthcoming book, Tip of the Spear:
“The use of the technologies we have invented are now poised on a blade’s edge. Either we learn to level the global playing field in areas such as Governance, Finance, and Education, or we use these extraordinary technologies to create further concentrations of wealth and increased inequality. Either we use our newly connected planet to have real conversations or we let it devolve into a rabble at the gate”.
This is why purpose is so important. The keel of ‘purpose’ is now being driven by sails fed by winds of disruption.
Our discussions with clients and partners around the world have helped us recognise that there is growing tension between the need for authenticity and purpose-centred brand direction, and the complex needs of an always-on digital clientele and customer channels. There was a growing understanding in the firm that we had the opportunity to shape a much more complete message that was the sum of these two very different worlds.
As we stepped back from these conversations, our collective team developed a digital manifesto that looked at the epicenter of this amazing intersection of heart and head; art and engineering; human and machines. It clearly articulates what we know to be certain and what we know will help shape our clients’ purpose in the face of digital disruption.
As we expand this vision into our everyday work with our clients, we provide three important messages to think about;
Firstly, fully understand the scope and speed of change that is coming; but remember to deepen the keel through a fuller understanding and articulation of your purpose;
Secondly, don’t be complacent and think that the technology ‘genies’ are going back in the bottle; they never have in history and the scope and speed will surely not allow it to happen now; don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “things have always changed, haven’t they?”
Finally, especially for our corporate clients, see the coming changes as incredible new opportunities – likely an imperative – to think exponentially, act differently and become leaders of new social movements that are demanded in this complex time.
Digital disruption “on purpose” means combing the best of what makes us human with the power and reach of a new era of technology and global connections.
And that is exciting