5 Questions to Create a Compelling Purpose for Change- edited from my friends… the Axlerods

5 Questions to Create a Compelling Purpose for Change

Emily Axelrod contributed to the ongoing conversation over at Switch & Shift with this guest post.

“We need to cut 30 million dollars from operating expenses.” What is your reaction to this purpose statement? Do you want to join the effort or sit on the sidelines?

Purpose from the HeartIf your change process lacks purpose, you are lost. You won’t know where you are going and you may not even know how to get there. If your purpose lacks meaning, you end up disengaging the very people you need to engage.

A hospital steering team began to address this 30 million dollar cost reduction problem by clarifying their work’s purpose.  While this may seem obvious, the conversations they had were not.

Tips for Creating a Compelling Purpose

The steering team discussed the following questions in order to create a compelling purpose:

1. What do you want to create as a result of working together?
2. What will be different because this group worked on this project?
3. In order to do what?
4. To what end?

The questions stimulated by Maja and myself (Roland) from the above are:

1. Our business results will be…

2. What will b different because of our dramatic shift or transformation?

3. What will we b capable of doing in 12 months that we can not do now?

4. Describe what we will aspire to.

5. Why is transformation a must now?

Most likely we need to find time to have one question for each of the brain centers.

The above needs to b integrated into the below. All our transformation work needs to engage the 4 major functions of the brain.

Whole Brain Leadership Underpinning Whole System Transformation Journeys

  • 4 quadrants of the brain- Explore . Preserve . Pursue . Control.
  • I explore on what matters to pursue purpose (Whole Brain Leadership)
  • I preserve with who matters to support and live our purpose (Heart)
  • I pursue on purpose priorities on what needs to be done in culture value (Action and Commitments)
  • I control holding all accountable to standards with disciplined execution to achieve our purpose. ( Business Results)

2 Responses to “5 Questions to Create a Compelling Purpose for Change- edited from my friends… the Axlerods”

  1. Roland Says:

    We gather data from answering all the above questions and then craft a purpose statement that is compelling, pointing and transformation. Our mentor Kathie would spend a half a day to a day just helping the design write their
    Purpose for a large meeting.

    We spend less time but then revise it 4 to 12 times in the 1 to 4 Months it takes to plan the positive transformative summit for 300 to 3,000


  2. Perla Rizalina M. Tayko Says:

    Thanks Roland and Maja for bringing our WB leadership framework. If I may add to your 5 questions …and sequence it to flow within the frame of whole brain functioning (for WB Litracy), I would begin with the Ï LIFE ON PURPOSE … the core center on why we do what we do … and when that is steely clear whether stated for the first time or reframed from a previously articulated purpose to be more relevant and appropriate for the changing tmes, the I affirm the Ï LIVE ON PURPOSE”and proceed to the flow using the four brain functioning … in whatever sequence that would be logical or intuitive sense to flow … either “flex for options – EXPLORE”, or “flow for priorities …PURSUE, “firm for values & relations – PRESERVE: and then “fix for policy directions – CONTROL”… given the information generated from the WBL readings … now you can “”lead/manage”change for what I call TLC3 or “transformative learning and change”… the third wave of the learning processes that we take on in lifelong learning.
    Perla Rizalina M. Tayko .. author of whole brain literacy for whole brain learning and leadership (2010 and 2013) ALL THE BEST.


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